Kirk Keeping to stand trial for 1st-degree murder in death of Chantel John
Attempted murder charge also proceeding
The St. Jacques man accused of killing Chantel John in Conne River has been ordered to stand trial for first-degree murder.
Kirk Keeping, 36, will head to trial in the Supreme Court of Newfoundland and Labrador on charges he murdered his ex-girlfriend, and attempted to murder her biological mother Anne McDonald in January 2019.
Provincial Court Judge Robin Fowler made the decision Tuesday morning in Grand Falls-Windsor, following a preliminary inquiry in the case.
The reasons for the decision are covered by a publication ban; however, the decision to proceed with five charges means Fowler found there was sufficient evidence to send Keeping to trial.
One charge — an accusation of uttering threats against another man in Conne River the same night — was dismissed.
'Justice for Chantel'
Keeping now faces charges of murder, attempted murder, uttering threats, breach of court order and breach of probation order.
Jennifer John, Chantel's adoptive mother, as well as about a dozen friends and family attended Tuesday's hearing in Grand Falls-Windsor.
Several wore shirts with "Justice for Chantel" printed on the back, and a red dress printed on the front — a symbol of remembrance for missing and murdered Indigenous women and girls.
Chantel John was honoured Thursday in Conne River with the official opening of the Chantel John Memorial Park in the Miawpukek First Nation.
"One year has passed since the tragic loss of Chantel, and our thoughts and prayers are with the McDonald and John families today," wrote Miawpukek First Nation Chief Mi'sel Joe in a statement on Facebook.
"May you find comfort in knowing that you are not alone, you are surrounded by those who love you."