Marissa Shephard appears in court on 1st-degree murder, arson charges

Murder suspect Marissa Shephard made her first court appearance Wednesday on charges of first-degree murder and arson, following her arrest Tuesday in Moncton.

Shephard, 2 others arrested Tuesday outside a Moncton motel after she avoided capture for more than 10 weeks

Marissa Shephard, 20, appeared in a Moncton court on Wednesday on first-degree murder and arson charges. (Submitted by Pierre Fournier/Radio-Canada)

Marissa Shephard made her first court appearance Wednesday on charges of first-degree murder and arson following her arrest Tuesday in Moncton.

Shephard, 20, had been sought on a Canada-wide warrant for first-degree murder and arson in connection with the death of Baylee Wylie, 18, on Dec. 17.

Shephard stood in court facing the judge during her appearance. 

Gilles Lemieux, her defence lawyer, asked for a few weeks to prepare. His client is scheduled to be back in court at 9:30 a.m on March 18.

Lemieux said the case could go to trial.

"It's very early obviously and we haven't seen the disclosure yet but I strongly suspect that's what's going to happen," he said after the appearance.

Shephard, had been the subject of a Canada-wide warrant for over 10 weeks. (Facebook)
The judge ordered Shephard have no contact with Tyler Noel and Devin Morningstar, who are also facing charges in connection with Wylie's death.

Shephard has also been instructed to have no contact with Stephen Nagle and Krystal Toole.

Toole has been charged with aiding Shephard while she was a fugitive from the RCMP. She will remain in custody and will be back in court on March 16. She's also been ordered not to have contact with Shephard or Nagle.

Nagle is the father of Shephard's four-year-old son. In February, Nagle said he believed Shephard was not a fugitive, but a victim.

Stephen Nagle and Krystal Toole were charged on Wednesday with helping Shephard. (Facebook)
Nagle has been charged with assisting Shephard, aiding her escape, as well as breaking a previous court order to stay away from Toole.

During his appearance, Nagle, who was crying, had an outburst in court.

"I thought she was dead. I went to convince her to turn herself in," he said.

After asking for a lawyer his case has been adjourned until March 10.

Nagle's sister Shawna Crossman was watching from the court's gallery.

"I haven't been able to speak to my brother since this happened," she said. "But that's not my brother. He lived with me up until about two weeks ago. He is not the monster they are portraying him to be."

Shephard avoided capture

Shephard managed to avoid capture for more than 10 weeks until police finally tracked her down around 12:30 p.m. on the street outside a motel in the city's downtown after acting on a tip from the public, according to Codiac RCMP.

The body of 18-year-old Baylee Wylie was discovered in a residence in Moncton by firefighters in December after extinguishing an early morning fire at the residence. (Submitted)
"We wouldn't have had, wouldn't have been able to do this without the help of the public," Staff Sgt. Mark Janes said shortly after the arrest. "So we got her. We arrested her. She is wanted for murder and she's now in our custody."

Janes told reporters the three suspects were arrested without a struggle.

"At this time far as I know, it [the arrests] went down without incident," he said.

Family statement

​After Shephard's court appearance, Wylie's family released a statement through his aunt.

"We cannot say enough how relieved we are that all three sought in the murder are now in custody," Angela Wylie wrote. "We want to thank the individual who made the tip. Without the assistance of the public this may not have been

"We want to thank the RCMP for their efforts and assisting our family in finding some semblance of closure. We have a long road ahead but now we can concentrate on justice for Baylee."

Wylie's body was discovered in the burned unit of a Moncton triplex after a December fire. RCMP described his death as an extremely violent killing.

Noel has also been charged with first-degree murder and arson in connection with Wylie's death. Noel, 18, was apprehended near Petitcodiac on Jan. 9.

The third suspect, Morningstar, 18, of Moncton, has also been charged with first-degree murder and arson in Wylie's death. He's due back in court Mar. 7 to set a trial date.

Noel, also 18, has a court hearing set for March 10 to confirm the date for his preliminary inquiry.