Brief court appearance for accused in Tatamagouche murder

The lawyers for a Bayhead man charged with first-degree murder in connection with the September 17th death of 58-year-old Susan Butlin will be filing an application to have a different judge sit during the preliminary hearing.

Ernest 'Junior' Ross Duggan, who also faces a charge of attempted murder following a stand-off with police, made a brief appearance in Truro Provincial Court on Monday via video link.

The possibility of a recusal application was discussed in December by co-defence lawyers David Mahoney and Stephanie Hillson, as Judge Al Bégin had handled a peace bond application made by the victim against Duggan.

As information will be presented ahead of the preliminary inquiry, which is scheduled for two weeks in September, a publication ban is expected to be in place on May 14th ahead of the filing of the recusal motion documentation on May 18th.

The defence was also given an extension for filing information on witnesses and issues to June 6th, as Mahoney told the court that more disclosure from the Crown was expected in the next few weeks.

The recusal motion itself will be heard in court on June 12th, with the focus hearing for the case also scheduled for that day.