Toronto

Alleged serial killer Bruce McArthur appears in court via video

Police found remains of 6 people at property linked to Toronto man accused of killing 5 men

Bruce McArthur court appearance

Bruce McArthur, shown second from left in a court sketch, appeared via video link on Wednesday morning. (Pam Davies)

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Alleged serial killer Bruce McArthur appeared via video link in a Toronto courtroom this morning.

McArthur, a 66-year-old landscaper, is charged with five counts of first-degree murder in the deaths of Selim Esen, 44, Soroush Mahmudi, 50, Dean Lisowick, either 43 or 44, Andrew Kinsman, 49, and Majeed Kayhan, 58.

Wearing an orange jumpsuit during the brief hearing Wednesday, and looking towards the floor much of the time, he only gave his name after the judge asked for it.

"I didn't want to look at him," Jeffrey Tunney, Lisowick's friend, said outside the court. "I was actually annoyed when they said thank you to him. I was just ... I'm angry."

The judge has ordered a publication ban, limiting what can be reported in the media.

Among those in the courtroom was the family of Andrew Kinsman, one of the alleged victims. The remains of Kinsman were found at a property in Leaside, a midtown Toronto neighbourhood, where McArthur worked and stored landscaping equipment. Police discovered the remains of at least six people on the property but have yet to identify the other five sets of remains.

Detectives said they expect to lay further charges in the coming days.

Mallory Crescent

Construction workers and police were seen digging up pipes in front of a Toronto home connected to McArthur earlier this week. (Martin Trainor/CBC)

On Wednesday morning, construction workers and police were seen searching pipes underneath the road in front of the property linked to McArthur. A portion of pipe was removed Tuesday night for testing, police have confirmed.

Over the past days, forensic teams have also excavated land and searched several planters at the site.

In all, the remains of six people have been found.

Guilty pleas 'a last resort' for lawyer

McArthur was represented today by Toronto lawyer W. Calvin Rosemond, who attended Wednesday's hearing but did not speak to reporters following his client's appearance.

Rosemond has represented clients charged with first-degree murder before, according to his professional biography on the website of Edward H. Royle & Partners LLP.

Calvin Rosemond

McArthur is being represented by lawyer W. Calvin Rosemond, who has previous experience defending people charged with first-degree murder. (Edward H. Royle & Partners LLP)

"Mr. Rosemond is a clever advocate with a compelling courtroom presence. He believes that everyone has the right to a fair trial and that guilty pleas ought only be entered as a last resort," according to his biography.

McArthur's next court appearance via video has been scheduled for Feb. 28.

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