Accused murderer continues legal battle over lawyer pay rates in St. John’s

Justice sets trial date for November 2014 for Trevor Pardy

Rosie Mullaley
Published on December 2, 2013
Telegram file photo
Trevor Pardy is pictured in Newfoundland Supreme Court in St. John's in this file photo.

A man accused of gunning down his girlfriend in 2011 says he will appeal a judge’s decision that ruled his lawyer of choice must be paid at legal aid rates, not at private lawyer rates.

Trevor Pardy, charged with first-degree murder, made his intentions known to Justice Wayne Dymond this morning when his case was called at Newfoundland Supreme Court in St. John's.

"I intend to appeal,” said Pardy, who represented himself during proceedings.

St. John's defence lawyer Bob Buckingham had represented Pardy in October in a four-day hearing held at Newfoundland Supreme Court to argue the merits of an application Pardy had filed.

Pardy had applied to have the Attorney General cover the cost of his private counsel at a rate of pay above what the Legal Aid Commission allows.

Legal Aid has already approved funding for Pardy to cover the cost of private counsel at legal aid rates, or to supply a legal aid staff lawyer. Pardy argued the legal aid rate of $60 per hour is too low to obtain an experienced lawyer to represent him.

But in a decision handed down last month, Justice James Adams disagreed and denied the application. Adams said there are a number of legal aid staff lawyers with sufficient experience and expertise who are available and willing to represent Pardy.

Pardy wants Buckingham to represent him. Buckingham, however, refuses to do it at legal aid rates.

Pardy has pleaded not guilty to first degree murder in the shooting death of Triffie Wadman, his former girlfriend, who was killed Oct. 1, 2011, in St. John's. He was at that time and has been in custody ever since.

His trial had been set to start this month, but was delayed due to the lawyer issues.

Despite the pending appeal, Dymond said it was best to set a new date for a trial.

He and Crown prosecutor Iain Hollett agreed to schedule the trial to begin Nov. 4, 2014. Jury selection will be held the day before.

"That's 11 months away," the judge said. "It should give you plenty of time (to resolve solicitor issues) ...”

"Whatever counsel represents you has to be ready for November."

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