Funding approved to argue application
Accused murderer Trevor Pardy becomes emotional after seeing his family members outside Courtroom No. 7 at provincial court in St. John’s Wednesday afternoon. — Photo by Rosie Gillingham/The Telegram
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.