Senior accused in deadly fire at care facility dies of natural causes

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A senior charged with manslaughter in the fiery death of a resident at a care facility in Calgary has died.

Crown lawyer Tom Buglas said Wednesday he will be filing a stay of proceedings against Robert Eyre, ending his prosecution.

“The medical examiner told the police that he passed away Sunday,” Buglas said.

He said he was told Eyre, 78, succumbed to “natural causes” after being taken from his secure detention at the Southern Alberta Forensic Psychiatry Centre to the hospital.

Eyre was initially charged with arson causing bodily harm in connection with an early morning blaze on April 27, at Wentworth Manor on 14th Avenue S.W., which hospitalized fellow resident John Bannatyne.

A month later police announced that Bannatyne, 84, had died and the matter was now being investigated as a homicide. In June, Buglas upgraded the charge to manslaughter.

Owing to mental health issues, it was unclear if the Calgary senior was ever going to trial.

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