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Man charged in attack on veteran now charged in 2007 triple homicide

Canadian WWII veteran Ernest Cote poses on June 5, 2014 in Courseulles-sur-mer, Normandy. AFP PHOTO / JOEL SAGET (Photo credit should read JOEL SAGET/AFP/Getty Images)

An Ottawa man accused in an attack on an elderly war veteran last year is now facing murder charges in the unsolved killing of three people in 2007.

Police confirmed Friday that they have charged Ian Bush, 59, in the deaths of retired tax court judge Alban Garon, his wife Raymonde and their neighbour, Marie-Claire Beniskos.

“This is an important development in a case that has troubled the community, investigators and the family and friends of these people for several years,” acting police Chief Jill Skinner told a news conference.

A court appearance has been scheduled for Saturday morning in Ottawa.

Earlier Friday, Bush was found fit to stand trial in a Dec. 18 home invasion attack on Ernest Cote, a 101-year-old D-Day veteran.

Police said the investigation into that attack led to the murder charges.

“The investigation into the December home invasion prompted investigators to consider Bush as a suspect for the 2007 homicides,” Skinner said.

Bush was charged in the Cote attack and underwent a 20-day psychiatric assessment to determine if he was fit to stand trial.

While he was in custody, police amassed evidence that later prompted them to charge Bush in connection with the 2007 slayings, which had stumped detectives for years.

“In the last few weeks, investigators have worked to establish evidence to warrant the homicide charges,” Skinner said.

“We will not be speaking to that evidence today as those details will be presented in court. However, I can tell you that the evidence includes DNA.”

Bush has opted for trial by judge and jury in the Cote case and a trial date is to be set on March 6.