MONTREAL—A 60-year-old caregiver is on trial for second- degree murder. Ellen Dennett moved to Quebec from California two years ago, now she stands accused of murdering an elderly Brossard woman.

The body of 78 year-old Kathrine Livingstone was found hidden in the basement of her home on Beliveau St. in Brossard on June 25, 2011. She'd been stabbed several times with two knives and her credit cards were missing.

Within days, police located 58 year-old Dennett. She was Livingtone's caregiver, a distant relative who moved from California for the job.

On Monday, the Longueuil court heard that Dennett used the stolen cards to book a room at a posh Old Montreal hotel. Inside her room, police found one of the knives used to stab Livingstone, along with blood-soaked clothes and other items.

Shortly after her arrest, Dennett confessed to killing the 78-year-old after an argument. In her defence, she plans to argue she was provoked by the elderly victim.

Livingstone, Dennett complained, was too demanding a boss.

"Everything I did was wrong. She always criticized me. I couldn't even make the right cup of coffee for her,” said Dennett. "I stabbed her. I lost it. I made a mistake and stabbed her."

Outside the courtroom, the victim's Scottish-born son was furious at the suggestion his frail, wheelchair-bound mother could be to blame.

“I cannot look at her for I am scared that should I look at her and I will lose my temper,” said Robert Livingstone, the victim’s son.

The Livingstone family has had its share of tragedies. In 1972, the victim's daughter Linda was killed in the arson fire of the Bluebird Café, where 37 people lost their lives. For the last surviving member of the family, this case opens up new wounds

“I knew mom suffered a painful death. But it's hearing the details that made me realize how painful her death was,” said Robert.