February 03, 2014 - 10:03 AM
VERNON - A senior charged with murdering his roommate at a care facility in Vernon last summer has passed away, according to media reports.
Global Okanagan is reporting John ‘Jack’ Furman, 95, died earlier this week in a Kamloops palliative care facility. The senior was thrust under the spotlight last August after he fatally attacked his roommate William May, 85, at an extended care ward for individuals suffering from a combination of dementia, behavioural and psychological issues.
Once charged, Furman was taken to a psychiatric ward in Kamloops where he awaited assessment to determine if he was fit to stand trial. Last November, the Crown announced it would not be pursuing the murder charge. Furman couldn’t remember what happened and was confused about his current situation, said the Crown.
While his legal battle was over, Furman would spend the rest of his days under supervision at a medical facility.
A decorated war veteran who served in the Devil's Brigade, Furman never had children. He lived with his wife in Vernon until she died several years ago. He’d been admitted to the care home just two weeks prior to the incident, and had only shared a room with May for three days.
May’s family held no blame over Furman for what happened, understanding the complexity of the illness.
“It’s a shame because in my association with Jack was that he was a warm and caring individual and what happened in that last one per cent of his life was no reflection,” says friend Craig Dickson, who learned of the media reports Friday morning.
The manager of a local grocery store, Dickson says everyone lit up when Furman came in. He was funny, kind and generous, volunteering with Big Brothers in the latter part of his life.
“Everybody’s got a life expectancy, but the thing that happened in the last year is bothersome,” Dickson says. “But Jack lived a full and good life. He’s someone I’ll remember fondly.”
To contact the reporter for this story, email Charlotte Helston at firstname.lastname@example.org, call (250)309-5230 or tweet @charhelston.
News from © InfoTel News Ltd, 2014