Victim was stressed about breaking up with man accused of killing her: friend

Kristin Johnston's best friend has testified that the Montreal-born yoga instructor was excited about starting a new chapter in her life, but was stressed about breaking up with the Halifax man accused of murdering her.

Jennifer Hazard told Nicholas Butcher's second-degree murder trial Thursday that Johnston came to visit her in Costa Rica in early March 2016 after shutting down her yoga business in Halifax.

Hazard says Johnston appeared exhausted when she arrived, but by the end of the trip she was excited about starting a new life in Tofino, B.C., with her older sister.

She says they planned to meet in Montreal about a month later to see a concert before going back to Halifax to pack up and drive across the country.

The Crown alleges Butcher, a graduate of Dalhousie University's law school, killed Johnston and tried to kill himself inside her home in Purcells Cove on Halifax's outskirts on March 26, 2016.
    
In her opening statement Wednesday, prosecutor Tanya Carter said the medical examiner will testify that Johnston had 10 wounds on her neck, and that her death was caused by sharp force.