A big crowd will likely be on hand Thursday morning outside the courthouse in Harbour Grace for the start of what’s sure to be an emotional event.
It’s expected that Trent Spencer Butt, the man accused of murdering his own daughter, will appear in person when the 10-day preliminary inquiry gets underway at Harbour Grace Provincial Court. He’s charged with first-degree murder and arson in the death of five-year-old Quinn Butt.
Previously, Trent Butt has only appeared in Harbour Grace by video link. His first official court appearance took place in a hospital room at the Health Sciences Centre in St. John’s, with lawyers coming to him and a judge presiding over the phone. He was there seeking medical treatment following a fire at his home in Carbonear. Firefighters were called to the house on Hayden Heights April 24, 2016.
The preliminary inquiry will give the accused’s lawyer a chance to assess the evidence before advising his client on how to proceed. Trent Butt has not entered any pleas. Details of what’s heard and discussed during preliminary inquiries cannot be published.
On Monday, Carbonear council members unanimously approved a motion to issue a demolition order to the owner of the house on Hayden Heights. Last month, a Canadian Press story indicated a bank might be on its way to taking ownership of the property.