The trial for accused murderer David Folker has been rescheduled for next fall.
The eight-week trial was originally set to begin in February, but had to be rescheduled when Folker's lawyer, Bob Simmonds, opted to step down as his counsel due to scheduling and financial reasons.
Folker wasn’t in Newfoundland Supreme Court when the case was called Monday morning for arraignments. He was represented by his new lawyer, Jason Edwards, who is co-counsel with Scott Hurley.
Edwards told Justice Wayne Dymond that it wasn’t a matter of not being ready sooner. They just didn’t want any interruptions in dates once the trial begins. The court’s schedule for the fall was open.
Edwards and Crown prosecutor Iain Hollett agreed to have the trial start Oct. 7. Jury selection will be Oct. 2.
Pre-trial applications will be argued March 19.
Lawyers will meet for a pre-trial conference in January.
Folker, 41, is accused of murdering his girlfriend, Ann Marie Shirran, in 2010.
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.
He reported her missing. An extensive search was conducted, but it wasn't until Sept. 2, 2010 that Shirran’s body was found by campers in the woods south of Cappahayden on the Southern Shore.
Folker was one of four accused murderers who had their cases called in arraignments Monday.
Pardy still needs a lawyer
Trevor Pardy was led into court by sheriff’s officers as family members of murder victim Triffie Wadman watched from the spectators’ seats. Some of them were holding pictures of Wadman.
Edwards appeared on Pardy’s behalf, but told the judge that he was not his lawyer. Edwards said Pardy is still looking to get a lawyer and suggested postponing the case for a couple of weeks to allow him time to get one.
Crown prosecutor Iain Hollett agreed and the case was set over until Dec. 19.
Pardy is accused of killing Wadman, his former girlfriend, on
Oct. 1, 2011, in St. John’s.
The incident happened on Boggy Hall Place, off Forbes Street in the Topsail Road area.
Witnesses called the RNC around 1 a.m. that day, reporting a woman was lying in the street.
Wadman, of Freshwater, Placentia Bay, who lived in St. John’s, was brought to hospital and treated for gunshot wounds. She died of her injuries.
Pardy, who grew up in Keels, Bonavista Bay, but lived in Mount Pearl, was taken into custody following a four-hour standoff with police following the shooting. He’s been in custody ever since, having been denied bail.
He’s pleaded not guilty to all three charges he faces: first-degree murder, using a firearm to commit a crime and having an unlicenced weapon (a 9-mm handgun).
Pardy’s trial was set to begin last month, but at the last minute, he fired his lawyer, Jeff Brace.
As a result, the judge dismissed the jury.
Legal issue holding up Pynn-Butler case
Philip Pynn and Lyndon Malcolm Butler were also in court Monday.
Pynn was represented by his lawyer Mark Gruchy, while Jeff Brace was in court as Butler’s lawyer.
Brace told the judge there are several legal issues left to deal with before they can set a date for a trial. They involve applications dealing with third-party search warrants and evidence.
Brace told the judge that the trial likely won’t start until the fall of 2013. Their cases will be back in court Feb. 1.
Crown prosector David Bright pointed out the Crown was ready to set trial dates and the delays are at the defence’s request.
Pynn, 26, and Butler, 22, are jointly charged in connection with the death of Nick Winsor, who was shot and killed at a house on Portugal Cove Road in the capital city on July 9, 2011.
Both are charged with a slew of charges, including second-degree murder and attempted murder.
Pynn, who is in custody, and Butler, who was released from jail following a bail review, also face a charges of attempted robbery, possessing a handgun, assault with a weapon and possessing a weapon while prohibited.
As well, Pynn faces counts of pointing a firearm, breaching probation and breaching conditions of two undertakings.
Meanwhile, a man suspected of helping Pynn also appeared in court.
Jonathan Eugene Rowe made his first appearance in Supreme Court. He was represented by Derek Hogan.
Rowe’s case hinges on an application from a third party. Until that matter is dealt with, trial dates can’t be set. Rowe will be back in court May 1.
The 29-year-old was arrested and charged in April of this year for his alleged involvement in the events surrounding Winsor’s death.