Two sisters have been charged in the death of their 88-year-old mother in Ottawa's Cyrville neighbourhood.
Chau Lam, 56, and Hue Lam, 59, appeared in court late Monday afternoon charged with first-degree murder of their mother Kieu Lam.
The appearance was held up as the court tried to find a Vietnamese interpreter for the pair, who appeared together by video. Neither had yet retained a lawyer.
Crown prosecutor Malcolm Savage had sought an order to prevent the sisters from communicating with each other, but duty counsel Biagio Del Greco told court he was concerned an order like that "would overly isolate them at this point."
Justice of the peace Sylvie Lapointe instead ordered the two not to communicate about the alleged offence without the presence of a lawyer.
Sisters remain in custody
Chau Lam asked if she could ask the court a question via the interpreter. "We don't have the means or sources to request a private lawyer so we request a pro bono lawyer helping us," the interpreter said.
Lapointe told the accused she could discuss that with duty counsel.
Both Lam sisters will remain in custody and are scheduled back in court next week.
The death was first reported just after midnight Monday and investigated by the homicide unit, Ottawa police said.
Officers were called to an address on the 1200 block of Bowmount Street near the intersection of St. Laurent Boulevard and Donald Street, where the woman was found dead.