Private lawyer for accused murderer

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Funding approved to argue application

Accused murderer Trevor Pardy is escorted by a sheriff's officer in this Telegram file photo.

Accused murderer Trevor Pardy will get a private lawyer — paid by the province’s Attorney General at private-lawyer rates — to argue an application as to why he should have a private lawyer — again paid by the Attorney General at private-lawyer rates — to represent him at the murder trial rather than a lawyer from the province’s Legal Aid Commission.


Newfoundland Supreme Court Justice Carl Thompson is trying to resolve the confusion and get the case — that has had numerous delays — moving along.

He ruled today that Pardy should have a private lawyer — at the rates charged by private lawyers — to deal with just the application for now because he believes Pardy doesn’t completely understand the legal process. The application should take about half a day.

The judge said the Attorney General should provide the funding to pay for the private lawyer for the application in 14 days. The case will be called again June 3 to set a date for that application to be heard.

David Rodgers, in court to represent the Attorney General, said the province’s Legal Aid lawyers are quite experienced and capable of representing Pardy. If Pardy could find a private lawyer to represent him at the legal aid rate of $60 per hour, then he could have that private lawyer. However, most private lawyers will not work for that hourly rate — private lawyers can charge up to four times that amount.

While the Legal Aid commission has expressed it is willing to represent Pardy, the accused has indicated he is not happy with that. Thompson noted Pardy has not really explained why he did not want a legal aid lawyer.

Pardy is charged with the first-degree murder of his former girlfriend, Triffie Wadman, Oct. 1, 2011 in St. John's.

Pardy has pleaded not guilty to first-degree murder.

His trial was originally set to begin Nov. 12, 2012, but was called off and jury members dismissed due to issues related to legal representation.

More coverage in Thursday’s full edition of The Telegram.

Geographic location: St. John's

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Recent comments

  • Joe
    May 16, 2013 - 02:33

    Innocent until proven guilty, that's how it goes isn't it? You're all making it into a "when he's guilty.." ramble. Lets say he's innocent. Better yet, lets say you reading this is in this mans shoes one day. You're accused of murder, you don't have that much wealth. Would you be purely satisfied with getting legal aid? Or would you try your hardest to get the best possible defense to clear your name and keep you outside of those walls? Most that comment here are too quickly to judge, and think they are better than the next. We are all equal, folks.

  • Denise
    May 15, 2013 - 22:11

    Way to give in to the bad guy! Gotta give it to him though. He knew if he held out, he'd get his way. I called this the first time he appeared in court and didn't have a lawyer. Man, did he ever play the system. Good job, judge. The delays have been Pardy's doing because he didn't have a lawyer. And as for him not understanding the legal process, he understands enough to suck in a judge. Poor baby, not happy with Legal Aid. If all the criminals, sorry, accused out there decide they don't like Legal Aid, what happens then. If I ever do something illegal, can I please have that judge?!

  • Unreal
    May 15, 2013 - 19:59

    This is absolutely unreal. I'm owed 14 years of child support. Is the AG going to provide the monies I need to get a good lawyer? I haven't even done anything wrong. This looser is accused of killing someone! Unbelievable!

  • John
    May 15, 2013 - 19:35

    Well said Mindy. Because they spend so much time in court, I would even hazard to say that most legal aid lawyers are probably at least as good as and probably better than most private lawyers.

  • david
    May 15, 2013 - 19:02

    Well, this remarkable decision certainly is exciting news for anyone previously convicted in Newfoundland while represented by a public defender: the basis for a nice class action lawsuit against the Crown of inequitable treatment. And the quite certain demands by every future defendant for similar, private sector legal representation. So nice job, you've really outdone yourselves this time and likely cost us all a all just gets better and better here.

  • Eli
    May 15, 2013 - 15:04

    MINDY has it right. If this punk wants private representation let HIM pay, not me. This is another case of a judge who doesn't know if he's punched or bored.

  • M
    May 15, 2013 - 14:44

    John Q. Taxpayer' hard earned money being used for crap like this is appalling! No wonder our justice system comes off as a joke to anyone looking in. If Pardy cannot afford a lawyer of his choosing, then he should have to deal with what the courts give him. If he is innocent, the lawyer wouldn't matter in my opinion. Crockwell did the same thing for far too long with delays due to council issues. Defendants with more rights than the victims - disgusting! Sad to think Ms. Wadman's family is indirectly footing the bill for the accused murderer of one of their own.

  • Different Look
    May 15, 2013 - 13:20

    I bet he'll sport a different look his next court appearance. His high-priced lawyer will have him all decked off in business attire and he'll look like an upstanding citizen.

  • Mindy
    May 15, 2013 - 12:56

    If you cannot afford a private Lawyer than you should take what is offered to you! Just because they are appointed to you by the court does not make them any less of a lawyer. We the taxpayer pay enough for justice we do not need frills attached.

  • well
    May 15, 2013 - 12:21

    so if this guy is found guilty , is Attorney General going to give him a nice little cell to with all the comforts of home? This is one system that makes me sick

      May 15, 2013 - 17:04

      This is crazy. This is a great example of how scales of economy should be applied to the legal system. If for example I want to buy a BMW and my financials only allow for a Chev Aveo then I should buy the Aveo. If I want to hire Johnny Cochran but can only afford public defenders or legal aid then thats what I should get. The system is corrupt enough as it is. This could lead to a horrible to a horrible precedent.

  • Ben
    May 15, 2013 - 12:17

    what a waste of taxpayer money on scum !!!