The long-awaited trial into the first degree murders of three Ottawa seniors will begin on Wednesday.

Former Human Resources Consultant, Ian Bush, 62, sat in the prisoner’s box Monday, looking calm and confident, at times grinning ear-to-ear, as potential jurors were called forward.   Bush stood when each count of first-degree murder was read out, he clearly stated “not guilty” on each count.

In a triple-murder that shocked Ottawa residents, Retired Tax Judge Alban Garon, 77, his wife Raymonde, 73, and the couple’s close friend and neighbour Marie-Claire Beniskos, 78, were found dead in the Garon’s luxury condominium suite on Riverside Drive in June 2007.

The three seniors had been beaten, bound and gagged. 

For years, the case had gone unsolved.  There seemed to be no credible witnesses and no surveillance video. Ottawa Police were desperate for a break in the case.

Detectives say they finally got that break, after another violent home-invasion targeting an Ottawa senior in December 2014.

Second World War Veteran, Ernest Cote, 101, was robbed, beaten and left for dead inside his Durham Private apartment.  The suspect tied-up the elderly veteran and put a bag over his head.  Cote survived the attack, but has since passed away of natural causes.  Investigators had obtained surveillance video from Cote’s apartment building, and days later arrested and charged Bush with attempted murder.

After gathering forensic evidence in the home-invasion, in February 2015, Ottawa Police announced charges were coming in the 2007 murders Alban Garon, Raymonde Garon and Marie-Claire Beniskos.  In a news conference they announced Ian Bush would be charged with three counts of first-degree murder.

 “As a result of the analysis of the robbery investigation, DNA was compared,” said the head of the Ottawa Police Major Crime Unit, Bruce Pirt, back in 2015.

Later reports, painted a picture of Bush who took issue with seniors and the tax system.  In 1999, he had gone to tax-court to try and get back $27,000 he felt was owed to him by the Canada Revenue Agency.  That case was eventually thrown out of court; it’s alleged he had reached out to Alban Garon in 2001, summoning him to his Orleans home to discuss the case.  That never happened.  Garon was murdered six-years later.

Since his arrest in 2014, and subsequent first-degree murder charges in 2015, Bush has remained in custody awaiting the triple-murder trial.

Jury selection was underway Monday morning and is scheduled for two-days before the trial begins.

Bush’s attempted murder trial in connection with the home-invasion involving Cote is expected to start in October 2017.