Janel Squirrel homicide: Emotions run high at Leo Pantherbone court appearance

Five people were escorted out of a Calgary courtroom after emotions ran high during the trial of a man accused of killing his girlfriend in northeast Calgary earlier this month.

Victim's supporters escorted out after throat-slitting gesture towards man accused of killing girlfriend

Janel Squirrel's body was found in the basement of the northeast rooming home where she lived with her boyfriend. He faces a charge of manslaughter in connection with her death. (Facebook)

Five people were escorted out of a Calgary courtroom after emotions ran high during the trial of a man accused of killing his girlfriend in northeast Calgary earlier this month. 

Leo Pantherbone, 45, is charged with manslaughter in connection with the death of his girlfriend, Janel Squirrel. 

Squirrel's body was found in the basement of the northeast rooming house they shared in Whitehorn.

At Pantherbone's court appearance Tuesday, five members of the victim's friends and family were leaving the courtroom when one became agitated.

He began making threatening gestures towards the accused, making a cutting motion to his throat. 

"Emotions are running high," said Rame Katrib, Pantherbone's lawyer.

Although the accused appeared before the judge via closed circuit television, he was able to see the courtroom. 

"I heard a noise behind me and I saw a number of people were removed from the courtroom, more so because of the decorum," said Katrib.

The judge and sheriff spotted the man threatening Pantherbone, and the group was escorted out. They left the courthouse without incident.

On a Facebook page dedicated to Squirrel, her mother made a plea for supporters to attend today's appearance — held in a courtroom dedicated for domestic violence cases.

The matter was adjourned until Dec. 8 while Katrib waits for disclosure. He hasn't ruled out applying for bail.