The caregiver for a woman killed in a bomb blast in Innisfail testified today in Red Deer court.
Marlene Punongbayan told Red Deer Court of Queen’s Bench that just one day before the blast, she celebrated gaining permanent residence status in Canada with her client Victoria Shachtay.
Brian Malley, 57, is on trial for first-degree murder in the death. He was Shachtay’s financial advisor.
Shachtay was confined to a wheelchair as the result of a 2004 crash. She received a settlement in 2007 and court was told earlier that she invested $575,000 of that with Malley.
Punongbayan testified that she got up at 4 a.m. on Nov. 24, 2011, to take a bus to Calgary to sign the papers that would allow her to become a permanent resident. She had lived in Canada since 2007 and had been Shachtay’s caregiver since May 2008. Punongbayan returned home at 4 p.m. on Nov. 24 and Shachtay expressed pride that her caregiver had finally getting permanent residence status. Until that day, Punongbayan had been in Canada on a working visa.
Shachtay was killed a day later, on Nov. 25, when she opened a bomb disguised as a Christmas present. The blast killed Shachtay and blew out the window of her Innisfail apartment, leaving confetti-like debris.
Punongbayan’s testimony continues today, the third day of the trial that is expected to last five weeks.