Killer colonel's wife denies claims in $4M lawsuit

Russell Williams. (LUKE HENDRY/QMI Agency)

Russell Williams. (LUKE HENDRY/QMI Agency)

Jason Miller, QMI Agency

, Last Updated: 10:18 AM ET

BELLEVILLE, Ont. -- The estranged wife of convicted killer Russell Williams has filed a statement of defence against a $4 million lawsuit launched by the family of a city woman murdered by the former commander of CFB Trenton, Ont.

In a document filed at the Ontario Superior Court of Justice in Belleville, Mary Elizabeth Harriman denies all claims made against her by the estate of Jessica Lloyd, her estate trustee and mother Roxanne Lloyd and brother Andrew Lloyd.

The Lloyds filed a statement of claim in January seeking $4 million in damages from her killer — former air force colonel Russell Williams — and Harriman.

Harriman denies the Lloyds are entitled to any of the relief sought.

Williams is serving life in prison. He was convicted in October 2010 of attacking two Tweed, Ont., women and the first-degree murders of Cpl. Marie-France Comeau, 37, of Brighton, Ont., and Lloyd, 27, of Belleville.

He was also convicted of dozens of break-and-enters and thefts in Belleville, Tweed and Ottawa.

The monetary relief sought by the Lloyds covers $1 million in damages for infliction of mental suffering, sexual assault, aggravated assault and battery.

They also made claims for $1 million each for special, aggravated and punitive damages.

Anything may be alleged in a statement of claim and its contents have not been proven in court.

The claim alleges that a March 2010 transfer of assets from Williams to Harriman — their Ottawa home — was fraudulent.

The defence denies any fraudulent intent behind the transfer of the former couple's matrimonial Ottawa home in an effort to defeat the plaintiff's claims, according to the statement of defence.

“Harriman denies the plaintiff's claim that the transfer was not made in good faith,” her defence states.

The document claims “the conveyance was not made secretly but was duly registered” with good and due consideration paid by Harriman.

“There was no unusual haste to make the conveyance in light of all the circumstance facing Harriman and Williams,” the statement reads. “There is nothing untoward or suspicious about the transfer.”

Harriman is the associate executive director of a national organization. She and Williams are in the midst of divorce proceedings in an Ottawa court.

The defence also suggested that the Lloyds' claim should not only be dismissed, but they should also cover legal costs incurred during Harriman's defence.

Harriman is also seeking to block attempts by the Lloyds to restrain her from disposing of or dissipating any real or personal property.

Nor are there any plans to remove assets from the jurisdiction in an effort to defeat the plaintiffs' attempt to recover judgment, if successful, it reads. She also refuses to accept claims for the court to hold proceeds of a sale in a trust for the Lloyds.

“Harriman has not placed the matrimonial home for sale and has not taken any steps to do so,” her defence explains. “The plaintiffs have no legitimate claim to this property and they, as owned by Harriman, cannot be used to satisfy any potential judgement against Williams.”

The Lloyds' claim they have developed post-traumatic stress disorder, acute distress disorder, suicidal thoughts, substance dependency and many other conditions that have limited their "opportunity to experience a normal adult life.”

“As a consequence of the defendant Williams' actions, the plaintiffs will require extensive therapy and medical attention," according to their January statement of claim.

Williams was sentenced to life in prison with no eligibilty for parole for 25 years in October 2010.

Jason.miller@sunmedia.ca


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