Halifax man appeals conviction, sentence in 2016 murder of Kristin Johnston

A Halifax man convicted in the violent death of a Montreal-born yoga instructor and businesswoman is appealing his second-degree murder conviction and sentence.

Nicholas Butcher was convicted of second-degree murder in April after a jury found he stabbed 32-year-old Kristin Johnston to death on March 26, 2016.

The conviction carries an automatic life sentence, but Nova Scotia Supreme Court Justice Joshua Arnold ruled in August that Butcher would be able to apply for parole after serving 15 years, less 880 days for time served.

A notice of appeal filed recently cites several grounds for appeal, including that Arnold erred in allowing evidence of bad character, and hearsay statements of the deceased.

The notice claims Arnold's instructions to the jury were too lengthy and complicated for the jury to follow.

It also says the period of parole ineligibility was too harsh.