Toronto Sun

Wednesday, March 15, 2000

'Mrs. Robinson' slew hubby, ex-lover: Cops

Ottawa-area murder trial

By JASON CUMMING, SUN MEDIA
The Toronto Sun

KILLALOE --  A bisexual "Mrs. Robinson" allegedly laces her hubby's wine with antifreeze and then is accused of convincing a teen to kill her former lesbian lover on the eve of a trial where she was to be the star witness.

It may sound stranger than fiction, but police allege this tailor-made Hollywood tale is what's behind a second murder charge against Cherrylle Dell, accused of slaying husband Scott Dell and her ex-girlfriend, Nancy Fillmore.

Following months of gossip, rumours and innuendo in this village of 700 about 140 km west of Ottawa, the newly-laid homicide rap facing Dell in relation to the 1997 fatal fire that killed Fillmore was yesterday met with profound emotion.

"I think there was a giant sigh of relief with the news," said Fillmore's close friend, Karen Grasley. "Nobody wants to see someone with that little regard for human life come out on top. We all need closure."

Dell, 44, has been in custody since December 1997 after an OPP probe into what was originally thought to be the suicide of her estranged husband.

Although the woman's 44-year-old spouse had been in remission from liver cancer, those close to him swore he wasn't at all depressed and wouldn't have poisoned himself.

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Fillmore -- a well-educated former Ottawa resident -- had earlier answered an ad in a local newspaper and eventually became a caregiver for the couple's kids.

But after a relationship with another woman Dell had left her husband for soured, Fillmore and her one-time boss bought a red-brick house together.

Following their subsequent ugly split, Fillmore contacted Killaloe OPP detectives with information -- not only about Dell's husband's death but also a series of scams. Dell now faces 13 other charges including perjury, falsifying academic credentials and misleading police.

While murder charges in the 1995 antifreeze killing weren't laid until four months after Fillmore's Queen St. dwelling was destroyed by fire in August 1997, police said Fillmore was to be the main witness in those cases against Dell.

Some of the fraud charges were about to be heard in court at the time of Fillmore's fiery death.

After tracking a male teen once romantically linked to Dell to Huntsville last July, police charged him with first-degree murder in Fillmore's death. They now allege that Dell talked the then-16-year-old into setting the blaze that killed her ex before she could testify. The boy, now 18, is awaiting trial and can't be identified under the Young Offenders Act.

Dell is to appear in Pembroke court on the latest murder charge on March 28. Her trial on the first murder charge begins in September.

Copyright © 2000, Canoe Limited Partnership.