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Accused Surrey wife-killer pleads not guilty

Thomas Robert Elton, seen here at a public event in 2004, is currently on trial for the murder of wife Brenda Turcan (below) in Surrey in 2009. - workingtv.com
Thomas Robert Elton, seen here at a public event in 2004, is currently on trial for the murder of wife Brenda Turcan (below) in Surrey in 2009.
— image credit: workingtv.com

A man accused of murdering his wife more than two years ago in a Surrey apartment has pleaded not guilty.

Thomas Robert Elton was charged in June 2009 with one count of second-degree murder in the stabbing death of Brenda Turcan (also known as Brenda Blondell).

Elton, now 56, entered his plea in New Westminster Supreme Court on Monday (Nov 21).

Turcan's body was found in a ground-floor suite of a three-storey apartment building where the couple lived together near 148 Street and 104 Avenue in the Guildford neighbourhood.

At the time of the murder, a neighbour described the couple as "frail," saying Turcan, 59, was especially ill.

In a strange twist, both Elton and Turcan had previously been convicted of separate murders.

Turcan was found guilty of second-degree murder for the 1987 slaying of a woman in Burnaby. Turcan was free on parole, after serving her mandatory minimum jail sentence, when she was killed in 2009.

Elton was convicted of murder after stabbing another inmate to death when he was doing prison time in 1975. He had also served his minimum sentence and was on parole.

Both Elton and Turcan were known as activists who campaigned for reform of the prison system. An online video shows the pair speaking at a 2004 public memorial for people who have died in jail.

- with files from Dan Ferguson

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