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

New Coast Guard radar boosts marine traffic monitoring off B.C. coast

Six radar installations set up for Georgia Strait to Queen Charlotte Strait to Prince Rupert

Central Coast Regional District swears in new Board of Directors

There are three new faces representing our region and two returning directors

VIDEO: Black horse signals ‘sign of peace’ for Tsilhqot’in Nation

Justin Trudeau rides black horse provided by Cooper family

Trudeau exonerates hanged war chiefs of 1864 on B.C. Tsilhqot’in title lands

Prime minister rides horseback with Chief Joe Alphonse, TNG Chairman, to Xeni Gwet’in meeting place

B.C. Legions in need of young members to continue aiding veterans into the future

Lest we forget what thousands of men and women did to fight for Canada’s freedoms – but without new membership, many Legion chapters face dwindling numbers

VIDEO: People with diabetes meet their alert dogs

A diabetic alert dog is trained to detect low blood sugar in people who have Type 1 diabetes

Hunter who saved B.C. man pinned inside smashed truck says ‘God was sending me to him’

Sayward man describes chance discovery of Duncan Moffat, 23, in northern Vancouver Island woods

Road-weary Canucks thumped 6-2 by Wild

Vancouver hosts the Montreal Canadiens on Saturday

Toronto private school didn’t report alleged sexual assault to police

Police say a sexual assault at an all-boys Catholic institution was not reported to them

China says butt out; Canada calls for release of “arbitrarily” detained Muslims

A Chinese foreign ministry spokeswoman accused Canada’s envoy of going beyond their diplomatic roles

Dead Saskatoon tattoo artist’s skin removed and preserved

The skin was removed in honour of the well known artist’s work

Province not doing enough for forestry sector, say Liberals

Although Minister of Forests says government working to diversify industry, rural economies

B.C. Realtor suspended after helping intern forge note about sick grandma

Vancouver real estate agent Jaideep Singh Puri has to pay fine, take ethics course

Offensive Facebook post by Okanagan Conservative riding sparks outrage

Post taken down after Conservative MP in neighbouring riding condemns it and demands removal

Most Read