Update: Accused called 'gutless' in court outburst

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Murder case adjourned to March 19

HALIFAX — Two people charged with first-degree murder in the killing of Halifax university student Loretta Saunders have had their case adjourned until March 19.

Blake Leggette, 25, is escorted into Halifax provincial court Feb. 28 in Halifax, N.S.

Blake Leggette, 25, and Victoria Henneberry, 28, were charged after Saunders’s body was found earlier this week in New Brunswick.

In a media scrum today, Saunders sister Delilah Terriak said she was frustrated that the Stephen Harper government has turned down requests in the past for an inquiry into missing and murdered aboriginal women.

Saunders was researching the subject at St. Mary’s University.

“She hasn’t died in vain and we just want to thank you all,” Terriak told reporters in the scrum, posted on the Chronicle Herald website.

Saunders aunt Barb Coffey said the family put their trust in the police.

“And they came through. Not very often are aboriginal women returned and she’s been returned. She’s going home,” Coffey said.

She thanked the media and the many people who  supported the family in trying to find answers after Saunders disappeared.

“We had strangers helping us,” Coffey said, adding Saunders’ parents are grateful.

“We have to come together in Canada and internationally.”

‘“We’re not used to speaking out in public (but) we recognize through media (Saunders) got in everybody’s hearts.

A national database by Ottawa researcher Maryanne Pearce puts the number of missing and aboriginal women in Canada at 824, although that database is evolving and would now include Saunders.

Outburst in court

There was an outburst as Leggette appeared in Halifax provincial court today, when a man from the public gallery cried out “gutless coward” three times. Henneberry did not appear in court.

Lyle Howe, Leggette’s lawyer, said he and his client are waiting for more information to be disclosed.

“He’s just extremely concerned about what’s going to happen,” Howe said outside court. “There’s a lot of unknown at this point, so it’s mostly questions.”

Halifax police allege Saunders, 26, was killed Feb. 13, the day she was last seen, at a Halifax apartment she once shared with the two accused. Police could not say how long the three lived together.

Police say Henneberry and Leggette were in a relationship.

At a news conference earlier in the week, Saunders’s boyfriend said he last saw her as she was leaving his home to check on an apartment he said she was subletting to Leggette and Henneberry.

Saunders’s disappearance triggered a search and public appeals from her family for help in finding the young Inuit woman, who was originally from Labrador. Dozens of supporters papered the city with posters showing a smiling Saunders.

Her body was found Wednesday in a median off Route 2 of the Trans-Canada Highway west of Moncton, N.B.

Police have not given details of how Saunders died. Her body is at the medical examiner’s office in Saint John, N.B., where an autopsy will be carried out.

Delilah Terriak, Saunders’s sister, has said she was set to graduate from Saint Mary’s University in May and was doing her thesis on missing and murdered aboriginal women.

 

 

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(Earlier story)

Halifax (CP) — Two people charged with first-degree murder in the killing of Loretta Saunders of Labrador, who was studying in Halifax, have had their case adjourned until March 19.

There was an outburst as 25-year-old Blake Leggette appeared in Halifax provincial court today, when a man from the public gallery cried out “gutless coward” three times.

Leggette and 28-year-old Victoria Henneberry were charged after Saunders’s body was found earlier this week in New Brunswick.

Henneberry did not appear in court.

Police allege the 26-year-old Saunders was killed two weeks ago at a Halifax apartment she once shared with the two accused.

Saunders’s body was found Wednesday in a median off Route 2 of the Trans-Canada Highway west of Moncton, N.B.

Police have not given details of how Saunders died.

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