Nicholas Butcher arrives at provincial court in Halifax on Tuesday, April 12, 2016. (Andrew Vaughan/The Canadian Press)

Nicholas Butcher found guilty of second-degree murder of yoga instructor

12-member Nova Scotia Supreme Court jury delivered verdict Saturday after five hours of deliberation

A jury has found Nicholas Butcher guilty of second-degree murder in the death of Montreal-born yoga instructor Kristin Johnston.

The 12-member Nova Scotia Supreme Court jury delivered its verdict Saturday after five hours of deliberation.

Butcher showed no emotion as the verdict was read.

Butcher was charged with second-degree murder after police found Johnston’s body on a blood-soaked bed inside her Halifax-area home next to a steak knife on March 26, 2016.

WARNING: Graphic content. Audio of a 911 call Nicholas Butcher made in March 2016 has been played in a Halifax court.

The jury heard that Butcher and Johnston were in a relationship at the time of her death, and lived together at her home in Purcells Cove.

The Crown argued that Butcher deliberately killed Johnston after realizing their relationship was deteriorating, but the defence had argued Butcher was acting in self-defence after she attacked him.

Crown lawyer Carla Ball suggested Butcher stabbed Johnston to death and then tried to kill himself with the same knife before cutting off his right hand with a mitre saw.

In her closing arguments, Ball said: “He decided that if he could not have Kristin Johnston, no one else could have her.”

Defence lawyer Peter Planetta told the jury that Butcher did not intend to kill Johnston.

Planetta said Johnston got a knife as Butcher slept and stabbed him in the neck, and that he was acting in self-defence when he fought back.

The trial has heard Butcher called 911 and told the dispatcher he had killed his girlfriend and tried to kill himself. He cut off his right hand with a mitre saw, but it was surgically reattached.

Medical examiner Dr. Marnie Wood testified that Johnston’s death was caused by sharp force injuries, and that she had “defensive injuries” on her hands and fingers.

The jury heard from 32 witnesses over 14 court days.

The Canadian Press

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Just Posted

Elkford councillor Joe Zarowny remembered

The District of Elkford today announced the passing of long time councillor,… Continue reading

‘Police are ready’ for legal pot, say Canadian chiefs

But Canadians won’t see major policing changes as pot becomes legal

Fernie arena tragedy “wake up call” for global refrigeration industry

Technical Safety BC’s incident report shared across 60 countries, reaching as far as Poland

Lake Koocanusa under the microscope

Wildsight, Sierra Club BC, Headwaters Montana and U.S. university launch water sampling program

Province offers support ahead of Fernie arena tragedy anniversary

Loss of three men in workplace incident motivates Labour Minister to make B.C. safer

Legal pot price must be ‘competitive’ with black market: Blair

Bill Blair shared final words on journey to legalization ahead of official day Wednesday

Meet the City of Fernie candidates

Voters in Fernie will vote for one Mayor, six Councillors and one School Board Trustee on October 20

Meet the District of Sparwood candidates

Voters in Sparwood will vote for one Mayor and six Councillors on October 20

Meet the District of Elkford candidates

The Elkford Chamber of Commerce will host an All Candidates Forum on October 4

Mayor of Kamloops says ‘history has been made’ with vote on B.C.’s lone pot shop

The store to be run by the province in B.C.’s Interior is opening Wednesday as pot sales become legal across Canada

New bus route to ‘replace’ Greyhound along Trans-Canada Highway

Rider Express Transportation says they will soon begin a bus service from Winnipeg to Vancouver

U.S. pot firm urges Trump to deny Canadian producers ‘competitive advantage’

The challenge for U.S. firms lies in the fact that while recreational cannabis is legal in nine states and medicinal pot in 22 others, it remains illegal under federal law

Government says imprisoned Canadian terror suspects must face consequences

Public Safety Minister Ralph Goodale showed little sympathy Tuesday for such individuals who now want to return to Canada

How rules for inmate segregation in Canada will change under Bill C-83

Federal government proposing changes to rules around inmates in federal correctional institutions

Most Read