Trent Butt arrives at Harbour Grace courthouse for preliminary inquiry
Accused of murdering five-year-old daughter Quinn in Carbonear last spring
Emotions did not boil over as the man accused of murdering his five-year-old daughter arrived in Harbour Grace last week for his first in-person court appearance.
Trent Spencer Butt’s preliminary inquiry began Thursday, Jan. 12. The accused murderer arrived at the courthouse shortly before 9:30 a.m. in a RCMP truck. He quickly entered Harbour Grace Provincial Court without looking in the direction of people holding signs and photos featuring Quinn.
The father and daughter were found inside Trent Butt’s burning home in Carbon- ear on April 24, 2016. He was charged with first-degree murder and arson two days later.
There were no unexpected outbursts or catcalls outside the courthouse, nor in the courtroom once Butt was brought out just before the arrival of Judge Bruce Short, who will preside over the 10-day preliminary inquiry. Butt’s gaze was steady and unmoving as he sat in the prisoner’s box.
There are 19 witnesses expected to testify during the inquiry, which is subject to a publication ban.
Members of Quinn’s family and other supporters were visibly emotional following Trent Butt’s arrival, though there were plenty of people willing to offer a shoulder to cry on.
Security at the courthouse has been beefed up this week, with extra Sheriff’s Officers present and a new scanning device set up just outside the main courtroom. One Sheriff’s Officer told the large crowd waiting to get inside it would be best not to bring in bags and purses if they weren’t willing to have them searched.
The main courtroom was filled to capacity Thursday morning, with a few people denied entry due to a lack of seats.
The preliminary inquiry is scheduled to conclude Jan. 31. Trent Butt has not entered any pleas.
Onlookers hold photos and signs featuring Quinn Butt, directing them towards the area where police escorted Trent Butt inside the courthouse.
Trent Butt exits an RCMP truck outside Harbour Grace Provincial Court.