The trial of accused murderer Trent Spencer Butt is set to begin in Newfoundland and Labrador Supreme Court in St. John's Wednesday morning, after 14 jurors were selected and sworn in on Tuesday.
About 1,200 people had originally been subpoenaed for jury duty for the trial, but that number had been whittled down to 210 by Monday afternoon, once the court had dealt with all those looking for exemptions.
The court then proceeded with a "challenge for cause" jury selection. Used in cases with a high amount of public interest and media coverage, the process involves potential jurors being interviewed in an effort to weed out those who might be partial or biased. The procedure is often lengthy, but by mid-afternoon Tuesday, 14 jurors and two alternates had been chosen to hear the trial.
Justice Donald Burrage will instruct the jurors Wednesday morning, before Crown prosecutors Lloyd Strickland and Jennifer Lundrigan and defence lawyers Derek Hogan and Shanna Wicks deliver opening statements.
After that, the Crown will begin calling witnesses to testify. Prosecutors have indicated a total of 43 people they may call to the stand over the next three weeks, though they may choose to shorten that list as the trial unfolds.
Butt, 40, has pleaded not guilty to the first-degree murder of his five-year-old daughter, Quinn, as well as arson. He is accused of having killed the little girl at his home in Carbonear on April 24, 2016, then setting the house on fire. Butt, who reportedly spent time in hospital, has been in custody ever since.
CIBC, which held the mortgage on the home, paid for its demolition about 10 months later, in an effort to help the community to heal.
No jurors yet for Trent Butt trial