Trent Butt murder trial delayed until 2019
Man accused of killing five-year-old daughter wants Legal Aid to pay for new defence counsel
Family and supporters of five-year-old Quinn Butt gasped and broke down in tears in the gallery at Newfoundland and Labrador Supreme Court in St. John’s last Monday when they learned it will be another year before her father goes to trial for her murder.
The first-degree murder trial for Trent Butt has been set for March 4, 2019, having been postponed last week at the last minute. Quinn’s mother, Andrea Gosse, kept her eyes coldly on Butt - who appeared to be smirking - when sheriff’s officers escorted him into the courtroom. Once court was adjourned and Butt was taken back to the lockup, an emotional Gosse and other supporters wept and hugged.
Butt, 39, is charged with murder and arson in the death of Quinn, whose body was removed from Butt’s burning Carbonear home on April 24, 2016. Butt and Gosse were estranged.
Three days before his trial was set to begin last week, Butt indicated to the court that he had fired his lawyers, Mike King and Bob Simmonds, and wanted to be represented by defence lawyers Bob Buckingham and Robert Hoskins instead.
Buckingham told the court Butt had applied to Legal Aid for a certificate in order to pay for Buckingham and Hoskins, but was denied due to recent changes in the Legal Aid Act.
For the past 10 years, Legal Aid clients facing serious charges such as murder had the option of being represented by private lawyers like King, Simmonds, Buckingham and Hoskins, but the legislation was changed last month. That means Butt no longer has a choice of lawyer. In court last Monday, Butt was represented by Legal Aid lawyer Derek Hogan, though Buckingham and Hoskins watched from the gallery. It’s not yet known whether Buckingham will challenge the new legislation in court. Crown prosecutor Lloyd Strickland indicated he and fellow prosecutor Jennifer Lundrigan were ready to proceed with the trial, but Hogan told the judge he wouldn’t be ready or available to proceed with the four-week proceedings until next spring.
Quinn Butt was five when she died in 2016 at her father’s home.
Quinn Butt’s mother, Andrea Gosse, hugs her own mother and weeps upon learning it will be another year before Quinn’s father, Trent Butt, will go to trial. Butt, 39, is charged with first-degree murder and arson in connection with the little girl’s...
Accused murderer Trent Butt wants Legal Aid to pay private lawyers Bob Buckingham and Robert Hoskins to represent him. He was represented by Legal Aid lawyer Derek Hogan in court last week.