It is shaping up to be a busy year in Supreme Court with at least five murder trials already on the book.
In February the trial of Al Potter is expected to get begin. He is one of two men accused of first degree murder in the 2014 death of Dale Porter. Both men will be tried separately. Dale Porter was found dead on his property in North River in June 2014. The 39-year-old was reportedly stabbed to death, but few details have been released since his death. Two members of the Vikings Motorcycle Club, Daniel Leonard and Potter, were arrested and charged with first degree murder. The two originally planned to go to trial together in 2019 but will now be tried separately. Potter will go to trial by judge and jury on Feb. 4. His co-accused, Daniel Leonard, will go to trial Sept. 10.
In March, the first-degree murder trial for Trent Butt is scheduled to take plea, after having had been postponed earlier this year at the last minute. Butt, 39, is charged with murder and arson in the death of Quinn Butt, whose body was located inside Butt’s burning Carbonear home in April of 2016. Butt and the child’s mother were estranged at the time.
In June, Craig Pope is scheduled to go on trial in connection with the stabbing death of David Collins last year. Pope, 32, has pleaded not guilty to second-degree murder. Collins died after an altercation on Alderberry Lane in the west end of St. John’s in September of 2017. He was found bleeding in the street and was taken to hospital where he later died of his injuries. Pope was released from Her Majesty’s Penitentiary just two weeks before he was charged. Pope remains in custody after being denied bail.
Accused murderer Graham Veitch is expected to go to trial in March after pleading not guilty to first-degree murder, assault causing bodily harm, unlawfully assaulting a peace officer with a weapon, failing to stop a vehicle and theft of a vehicle. Six weeks have been set aside for the trial. The 20-year-old is believed to have been responsible for the bludgeoning death of 55-year-old David Collins in December of 2016. Collins was the partner of Veitch’s mother and they lived together in Logy Bay-Middle Cove-Outer Cove. Police and paramedics were called to the home to find Collins gravely injured. He was taken to hospital and later died of his injuries. Veitch is reported to have fled the scene in the victim’s car, only to be arrested about four hours later. He reportedly attempted to escape and rammed the vehicle into a police cruiser, then struck another one.
Meanwhile, the man accused of killing Victoria Head in November of last year won’t stand trial until January 2020, more than 26 months after her body was found in a field alongside a dirt road in St. John’s. There were earlier trial dates available, but the lawyers weren’t available. Steve Bragg was listed as a missing person the night after Victoria Head was killed. He’s since been charged with first-degree murder in her death. Bragg is accused of killing Head, 36, on Remembrance Day in 2017. Her body was found near the historic O’Brien Farm property off Mount Scio Road.
It is expected to be 2020 before a 36-year-old C.B.S man accused of killing his brother will go to trial. Butler has elected to go to trial by judge and jury in Supreme Court. Philip Butler was charged with second degree murder after he allegedly killed his brother, George Allan Butler on May 21. It happened on Comerford’s Road. Butler is due back in court in January for a preliminary inquiry.