The man accused of throwing a trailer hitch at an Indigenous woman in Thunder Bay, Ont., in January has now been charged with second degree murder.

Brayden Bushby was originally charged with aggravated assault by Thunder Bay police in February. Barbara Kentner, 34, died in July.

Bushby made a brief court appearance Friday morning; afterward, Acting Crown Attorney Andrew Sadler confirmed the murder charge.

In a written release issued Friday morning, Thunder Bay police said that following Kentner's death, the Crown reviewed the case, along with the regional coroner's office and the police service's criminal investigations branch. According to police, that review led to the "upgraded" charge.

Prior to the morning court proceeding, Kentner's sister, Melissa, met with representatives of the Crown and coroner's offices for over an hour.

Late Friday afternoon, Melissa Kentner posted to Facebook that she has "so many mixed feelings right now," but is happy with the upgraded charge.

Bushby was back in court Friday afternoon for a bail hearing, where a judge released Bushby on a recognisance.

A number of conditions were attached, including that he must live with, and be in the company of, at least one of two sureties — designated guarantors approved by the court — not contact or be near Melissa Kentner or three other people identified in the order, not possess weapons and not possess or consume drugs or alcohol.

In granting the release, the judge said Bushby has had no violations of any of his conditions placed on him since he was originally charged with aggravated assault.

Bushby's case is also set to return to court Monday. His lawyer declined comment Friday.

Evidence and submissions included in Friday's two court appearances are subject to a publication ban.