Nicholas Butcher arrives at provincial court in Halifax on Tuesday, April 12, 2016. (Andrew Vaughan/The Canadian Press)

Nicholas Butcher found guilty of second-degree murder of yoga instructor

12-member Nova Scotia Supreme Court jury delivered verdict Saturday after five hours of deliberation

A jury has found Nicholas Butcher guilty of second-degree murder in the death of Montreal-born yoga instructor Kristin Johnston.

The 12-member Nova Scotia Supreme Court jury delivered its verdict Saturday after five hours of deliberation.

Butcher showed no emotion as the verdict was read.

Butcher was charged with second-degree murder after police found Johnston’s body on a blood-soaked bed inside her Halifax-area home next to a steak knife on March 26, 2016.

WARNING: Graphic content. Audio of a 911 call Nicholas Butcher made in March 2016 has been played in a Halifax court.

The jury heard that Butcher and Johnston were in a relationship at the time of her death, and lived together at her home in Purcells Cove.

The Crown argued that Butcher deliberately killed Johnston after realizing their relationship was deteriorating, but the defence had argued Butcher was acting in self-defence after she attacked him.

Crown lawyer Carla Ball suggested Butcher stabbed Johnston to death and then tried to kill himself with the same knife before cutting off his right hand with a mitre saw.

In her closing arguments, Ball said: “He decided that if he could not have Kristin Johnston, no one else could have her.”

Defence lawyer Peter Planetta told the jury that Butcher did not intend to kill Johnston.

Planetta said Johnston got a knife as Butcher slept and stabbed him in the neck, and that he was acting in self-defence when he fought back.

The trial has heard Butcher called 911 and told the dispatcher he had killed his girlfriend and tried to kill himself. He cut off his right hand with a mitre saw, but it was surgically reattached.

Medical examiner Dr. Marnie Wood testified that Johnston’s death was caused by sharp force injuries, and that she had “defensive injuries” on her hands and fingers.

The jury heard from 32 witnesses over 14 court days.

The Canadian Press

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Just Posted

Annual pickleball tournament fills up quickly

Two-day event to take place indoors at Oceanside Place May 24-25

Lighthouse Country bus tour to focus on area’s tourism destinations

Business assocation wants more tourists to come to the area

Flock of spinners holding fleece and fibre fair in Coombs

Annual event raises money for Bradley Centre, supports local producers and vendors

BC Ferries CEO, president speaks to Parksville and Qualicum Beach chambers

Guest asks about Vancouver Island resident discount fares

VIDEO: After the floods, comes the cleanup as Grand Forks rebuilds

Business owners in downtown wonder how long it will take for things to go back to normal

Study recommends jurors receive more financial and psychological support

Federal justice committee calls for 11 policy changes to mitigate juror stress

Research needed on impact of microplastics on B.C. shellfish industry: study

SFU’s department of biological sciences recommends deeper look into shellfish ingesting microbeads

B.C. dad pens letter urging overhaul of youth health laws after son’s fatal overdose

The Infants Act currently states children under 19 years old may consent to medical treatment on own

Singh sides with B.C. in hornet’s nest of pipeline politics for the NDP

Singh had called for a more thorough environmental review process on the proposal

Construction crane tips over at Nanaimo work site

Incident happened Wednesday morning at Turner Road and Uplands Drive

30 C in B.C., 30 cm of snow expected for eastern Canada

It might be hot in B.C., but the rest of Canada still dealing with cold

Horgan defends fight to both retain and restrict Alberta oil imports

Alberta says pipeline bottlenecks are kneecapping the industry, costing millions of dollars a day

B.C. Transit shows off NextRide bus technology

New technology allows for real-time tracking, to be rolled out through early 2019

Most Read