A Moncton man accused of murdering 18-year-old Baylee Wylie last month and setting a house on fire made his first court appearance on Thursday, as police continue to search for another accused wanted on a Canada-wide warrant.
Tyler Dominique Noel, 18, who eluded police for three weeks before being arrested last weekend, is charged with first-degree murder and arson in connection with Wylie's death.
Wylie's body was discovered after an early-morning house fire on Sumac Street on Dec. 17. RCMP have not released the cause of death, but have described it as being "extremely violent."
The Moncton provincial courtroom was standing room only on Thursday morning for Noel's brief appearance.
Wylie's mother, Amanda Wylie, who was weeping openly, was among the observers.
Noel, whose head has been shaved, stood through much of the proceedings, then sat down and hid his face in his hands.
He stood again, wiped away tears and mouthed "I love you" to someone in the courtroom.
At one point, Noel said loudly, "Stop staring at me."
'That guy is staring at me and shaking his head like I did something.' - Tyler Noel
When Judge Irwin Lampert asked what he meant, Noel replied, "That guy is staring at me and shaking his head like I did something."
"Can you stop it now?" Noel asked the male in question, as the judge carried on.
Noel later apologized. "Sorry for the outburst, your honour."
Noel's defence lawyer, Wendell Maxwell, requested an adjournment, saying he has not yet received any disclosure.
The judge set the matter over until Feb. 15 at 9:30 a.m. Noel remains remanded in custody.
Noel is also facing two previous charges of assault with a stun gun, as well as possession of a prohibited weapon in connection with an incident on Sept. 24.
Those matters have been scheduled for trial May 24-25 at 9:30 a.m.
Outside the courtroom, Maxwell declined to comment, saying it's too early in the proceedings.
'Emotional' day for Wylie family
Wylie's aunt, Angie Wylie, told CBC News being in court was "difficult," but she vowed to be at every appearance for each of the accused.
"Really our focus at this point is just justice for Baylee," she said.
Wylie's mother agreed it was "very emotional," but said she was "pleased" Noel and the two men who were arrested with him on Saturday in Petitcodiac all remain in custody.
"As far as I'm concerned, that's proving a point that we're not playing any games, and that anybody that could be harbouring Marissa Shephard, I sure hope that you hear this."
Shephard, 20, of Moncton, is also charged with first-degree murder and arson in the case. There is a Canada-wide warrant for her arrest.
2 other men also remain in custody
Zachary Holden, 18, of Moncton, who is accused of assisting Noel, is charged with being an accessory after the fact to murder, being unlawfully in a dwelling house, flight from police and dangerous driving.
His temporary lawyer asked to waive Holden's right to a bail hearing for the time being.
Holden plans to apply for legal aid and is scheduled to return to court on Jan. 22 at 9:30 a.m. for election and plea.
Bradley John Bonnell, 20, of Wheaton Settlement, is charged with being unlawfully in a dwelling house.
His temporary lawyer also recommended adjourning his bail hearing, pending disclosure, but Bonnell insisted on proceeding.
No details about the hearing can be reported due to a publication ban, but Lampert ordered Bonnell's continued detention.
Bonnell is scheduled to return to court on Jan. 21.
Devin Morningstar, 18, who was previously charged with first-degree murder and arson in connection with Wylie's death, has been sent for a 30-day psychiatric assessment.
RCMP seek help locating Shephard
Meanwhile, RCMP are still searching for Shephard.
Wylie's aunt declined to provide any update on the ongoing search for fear of compromising the case.
"All we request is that the public continue to be what they've been doing — any information that they may have that could lead to where she has been, or could be, or may currently be is what's really important at this point," she said.
Shephard is described as being Caucasian, about five-foot-five, 100 pounds, with brown eyes and brown hair.
She has a tattoo with the name Stephen on her neck and a tattoo of a crown on her chest — not a heart as had been stated in previous news releases.
Police warn she is considered dangerous due to the violent nature of the crime and that anyone helping her hide could face serious charges.
Anyone with information about her whereabouts is asked to immediately call 911, the Codiac Regional RCMP at 506-857-2400, or Crime Stoppers at 1-800-222-TIPS (8477).