Trent Butt ar­rives at Har­bour Grace court­house for pre­lim­i­nary in­quiry

Ac­cused of mur­der­ing five-year-old daugh­ter Quinn in Car­bon­ear last spring

The Compass - - FRONT PAGE - BY AN­DREW ROBIN­SON TC ME­DIA ed­i­tor@cb­n­com­

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.

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