Multiple murder cases before courts

Rosie Mullaley
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It’s been more than three years since Ann Marie Shirran’s body was found by campers in a wooded area near Cappahayden.

David Folker, suspected of killing his girlfriend in July 2010, has his eight-week trial scheduled to begin Oct. 7 in Newfoundland Supreme Court in St. John’s. — Telegram file photo

In three weeks, the man suspected of murdering her will go to trial.

David Folker — the father of Shirran’s child — will face judge and jury in an eight-week trial beginning Oct. 7 at Newfoundland and Labrador Supreme Court in St. John’s.

The 42-year-old is one of nine people — six in the St. John’s metro area — facing murder charges across the province. It is believed to be a record number.

Folker’s will be the second murder trial in St. John’s in the last year.

In February, a jury found Steven Neville guilty of second-degree murder and attempted murder after an Oct. 9, 2010, stabbing in Paradise, in which Doug Flynn was killed and Ryan Dwyer was injured.

On March 20, Neville was sentenced to life in prison with no eligibility of parole for 12 years.

Folker faces charges of second-degree murder and improperly or indecently interfering with or performing an indignity to a human body.

Shirran was Folker’s girlfriend.

The 32-year-old woman disappeared July 18, 2010, and was reportedly last seen at the Kilbride home she shared with Folker and their young son.

Folker reported her missing.

An extensive search was conducted, but it wasn’t until Sept. 2, 2010 that Shirran’s body was found on the Southern Shore. Out of respect for the family, police would not comment on the condition of the remains.

Folker was arrested less than 24 hours after the police revealed it was Shirran’s body.

He was granted bail in December 2010, with the condition that he live with his mother in Nova Scotia.

Since then, Folker has only returned to this province to attend court and meet with his lawyers. He was also here for most of his preliminary hearing in 2011.

The trial was originally set to begin in February 2012, but had to be rescheduled when Folker’s lawyer, Bob Simmonds, opted to step down as his counsel due to scheduling and financial reasons. It had previously been delayed until that time due to the busy court schedule.

He is now represented by Legal Aid lawyers Jason Edwards and Scott Hurley.

Prosecutors Iain Hollett and Lloyd Strickland are handling the case for the Crown.

“We expect to call over 50 witnesses,” Strickland told The Tele­gram Friday. “That’s including witnesses with varying expertise in forensics sciences.”

Jury selection is scheduled for Oct. 2. Justice Wayne Dymond will  hear the case.

Here are updates on the other murder cases:



Charge: First-degree murder, using a firearm to commit a crime and having an unlicensed weapon

(a 9-mm handgun).

Date of offence: Oct. 1, 2011

Victim: Triffie Wadman, Pardy’s former girlfriend, of Freshwater, Placentia Bay, who lived in St. John’s.

Wadman was shot on Boggy Hall Place, off Forbes Street in the Topsail Road area of St. John’s.

Pardy was taken into custody following a four-hour standoff with police after the shooting. He’s been in custody ever since, having been denied bail.

Lawyers: Bob Buckingham (to argue an application for Pardy); Iain Tennant and Vikas Khaladkar (Crown)

Status: A hearing to argue whether or not the provincial government will pay his legal fees (at a private lawyer’s rate) has been set for Oct. 1. Bob Buckingham, who is arguing the issue, will represent him if the application is successful.

Background: The trial was originally set to begin Nov. 12, 2012, but the day before, it was called off and jury members were dismissed when Pardy fired his lawyer, Jeff Brace.

The case has been held up since then due to Pardy’s issues with law­yers. The Newfoundland and Labra­dor Legal Aid Commission has al­ready agreed to fund a lawyer — either private counsel at Legal Aid rates, or a Legal Aid staff lawyer — for Pardy. But he has insisted on having a private lawyer paid for by the attorney general.




Charge: Jointly charged with second-degree murder and attempted murder. Pynn and Butler also face charges of attempted robbery, possessing a handgun, assault with a weapon and possessing a weapon while prohibited. Pynn also faces counts of pointing a firearm, breaching probation and breaching conditions of two undertakings.

Date of offence: July 9, 2011

Victim: Nick Winsor was shot and killed at a house on Portugal Cove Road in the capital city.

Lawyers: Mark Gruchy (for Pynn) and Jeff Brace (for Butler); David Bright (Crown)

Status: Both Pynn and Butler were committed to stand trial following a preliminary inquiry in August 2012.

An eight-week trial is tentatively scheduled to begin on Sept. 9, 2014. Jury selection is expected to be held that day. However, lawyers are still waiting for the outcome of a hearing that involves a third-party search warrant and evidence.

Pynn is in jail, having been denied bail on July 5. Butler was released from custody following a bail review last year.



Charge: Second-degree murder

Date of offence: July 1, 2005

Victim: Richard Brace

The 29-year-old from Green’s Harbour was found badly beaten at a house on Water Street in Carbonear July 1, 2005. He was declared brain dead and died of a hemorrhage three days later.

Lawyers: Bob Buckingham (defence); Vikas Khaladkar (Crown)

Status: Four-week trial set to begin March 4, 2014

Background: Ryan had been found guilty after he represented himself at his trial in May 2007. The Newfoundland and Labrador Court of Appeal overturned that conviction last year and ordered a new trial. Ryan, who had been incarcerated since 2005, was granted bail in March 2012 after the Appeal Court decision.



Charge: Second-degree murder

Date of offence: March 13, 2013

Victim: Joey Whalen

The 47-year-old was beaten to death on Tessier Place, St. John’s. He died in hospital two days after the incident. Police don’t believe it was a random act of violence.

Lawyers: Randy Piercey (defence); Sheldon Steeves and Natalie Payne (Crown)

Status: Five-day preliminary inquiry set to begin Nov. 4

Background: Green was denied bail on June 13. Since being in custody, he’s also been charged with conspiring to escape from the Waterford Hospital.




Charge: First-degree murder

Date of offence: April 14, 2013

Victim: Jason Skinner

The Harbour Round man was found in critical condition in a Grand Falls-Windsor residence on 18th Avenue which is operated by a local homelessness network. He later died in hospital.

Skinner’s family said he had been accepted into a rehab facility and was staying in Grand Falls-Windsor while waiting to enter rehab when he was murdered.

Lawyers: Bob Buckingham (for Pike), Arnold Hussey (for Ash).

Status: When Pike appeared in court last month, Buckingham indicated he would not submit a bail application. He told The Telegram Friday he has filed an application to withdraw as solicitor of record. It will be brought forward at Pike’s next court appearance Sept. 18.

Buckingham said that like Trevor Pardy, Pike has filed an application to have the Attorney General pay legal fees. A date hasn’t been set yet to argue the hearing. Buckingham said Pike will argue the application herself, but he will agree to represent her if the application is successful.

Ash is scheduled to appear on Sept. 12 for a bail hearing.



Charge: First-degree murder, as well as sexual assault, public mischief and breach of recognizance

Date of offence: June 14, 2013

Victim: Bernice Rich

The 21-year-old’s body was found in a wooded area in Sheshatshiu.

Lawyers: Derek Hogan (defence); John Noseworthy (Crown)

Status: Two-day preliminary inquiry set for Dec. 16-17 in Happy Valley-Goose Bay provincial court.

The police investigation is ongoing.

Background: During one of his recent court appearances, Milley was ordered to have no contact with a list of 10 people, including one of his siblings.

Twitter: @TelyCourt

Organizations: Newfoundland and Labrador Supreme Court, Legal Aid Commission

Geographic location: Paradise, Nova Scotia.Since, Freshwater Placentia Bay Forbes Street Topsail Road Newfoundland Portugal Cove Road Water Street Carbonear Tessier Place 18th Avenue Sheshatshiu.Lawyers Happy Valley Goose Bay

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Recent comments

  • Amy Lucas
    September 17, 2013 - 15:51

    Because of David Ryan my family was torn apart. My aunt Pauline never got to meet her grandson or her nrw niece and nephew. She was an amazing person and her life certinally is vworth more than 5 years in jail! There is no justice for her or any of these people.

  • Beverly Lane
    September 17, 2013 - 12:19

    David Ryan,Brutally Stabbed my sister Pauline to death on Feb 4,1998,for his hanis act of violence against my sister he served 5 yrs in prison.My sister died a very horrific death,Pauline didn't recieve any justice 5 yrs in prison was an insult to her integrity.David Ryan was more then capable of representing himself on the night he savagely stole my sisters life,i believe he's more then capable of representing himself in a court of law.

  • bayman
    September 15, 2013 - 20:56

    St. John's actually makes up 40% of Newfoundland and Labradors population...6 people out of 9 ,currently before the courts for murder, are from or lived in the metro st. johns area at the time of the murder. I think there might be someting in the water in st. johns

  • Dawn Wride
    September 14, 2013 - 22:33

    Why, oh why, is Trevor Pardy's request for a private counsel paid for by the Atterney General even econsidered - if he wants private - let him pay, if not he gets the same as everyone else who can not afford private counsel. Another crazy action by the Newfoundland Judicial system!

  • Concerned
    September 14, 2013 - 21:50

    I would like to know what the Minister of Justice and the AG are going to do with the shortage in experienced crown to handle these serious prosecutions. By my count, all of the crown assigned to special prosecutions are busy with Folker, Pardy and Ryan (by the way, policy requires two crown on each murder trial, Molloy better assign someone else to the Ryan matter...if he can find a body). I understand Bright (a NS lawyer) on the Pynn/Butler matter, given the conflicts posed by that file. Nobody assigned to the Pike/Ash matter, a prosecution from central NL, the office that the last budget saw reduced to below minimum manning...where are the crown going to come from to prosecute that matter? Good crown in central, but they are already OVER-WORKED! The Milley prosecution in Labrador, really, Noseworthy? He won't go to court on routine matters and we are to expect that he can handle a murder prosecution on his own. The title of Senior Crown does not always equate to "experienced enough", and the DPP knows it. Quite simply, the crown office is not adequately staffed to handle these prosecutions (remember the other courts do not stop running while these trials are run). Maybe the Minister of Justice is going to pick up a file...oh yeah, he is a teacher! Maybe the AG is going to pick up a trial, but that would mean his first time in court in what?...20 years! The Minister and the AG are sleeping at the wheel, the DPP is drinking their Kool-Aid (hoping for a bench appointment, I guess). Such limited resources on such serious matters greatly increase the potential for a wrongful conviction, or nearly as bad, an inadequately conducted prosecution resulting in an acquittal, either way justice is not served. King, Marshall, Kennedy and, ultimately, Dunderdale have significantly undermined public confidence in our prosecutions, and they should be held accountable...maybe in 2015, if it is not too late!

  • Townie
    September 14, 2013 - 07:12

    About 75% of the population of Newfoundland live within an hour of St. John's. However, only 66% of the people charged with murder live in St. John's (and some of them have common bay names as opposed to townie names). There must be something in the water around the bay because they are over represented.

    • Darlene
      September 15, 2013 - 07:36

      Really are one racist son of a B!?$h...but most of them occurred in town right townie....maybe it's the water in's certainly not doing anything for your manners....grow up and don't be so have a great day...cheers

    • grant
      September 15, 2013 - 09:13

      There is nothing wrong with people in St Johns or outside St Johns, there is only a small few who love to get up in the morning after staying awake all night thinking up negative things about people and the world. They are the cause of all the problems in the world and your just one of them.

    • Out of Townie
      September 15, 2013 - 10:08

      'Townie', I'd be interested to know how you categorize 'common Bay names' vs. 'townie names'. Regardless of where the individuals originate from, 5/8 of the murder cases were actually committed in St. John's. Perhaps the townie ways have affected us baymen negatively.