Nfld. & Labrador

Mount Pearl man Steve Bragg charged with second-degree murder of Victoria Head

The man accused of killing Victoria Head appeared in court on Saturday and faced an emotional outburst from the victim's sister-in-law.

'I hope you see her face every time you blink,' shouts sister-in-law in court

Steve Bragg, 35, has been charged with second-degree murder in the killing of Victoria Head in St. John's. (RNC, Victoria Head/Facebook)

The family of Victoria Head has some closure this Christmas, as a 35-year-old Mount Pearl, N.L., man has been charged with second-degree murder.

Steve Bragg stared at the floor as he sat in the prisoner's box, 10 feet from Head's brother, Billy Jo, and her sister-in-law, Darlene Dinn.

With his cuffed hands on his lap, he let out a few quiet whimpers before court began session.

"That's him," Dinn said to her husband, a look of shock on her face.

Steve Bragg, 35, of Mount Pearl, N.L., has been charged with second-degree murder in the death of Victoria Head. Her body was found in St. John's. (Ryan Cooke/CBC)

Four minutes later the matter was adjourned, and Bragg stood to be escorted back to custody.

With tears streaming down her face, Dinn leaned forward and shouted.

"I hope you see her face every time you blink your eyes, you piece of s**t," she said before running out of the courtroom.

Outside, Dinn sat with her head in her hands while Billy Jo and two members of the Royal Newfoundland Constabulary comforted her.

Accused killer was reported missing

Victoria Head was killed Nov. 11.

She was last seen in downtown St. John's during the early hours of that morning. At 8 a.m., her body was found in a field near the historic O'Brien Farm property off Oxen Pond Road.

Police said her death may have been related to her work in the sex trade. While her family denies Head was involved in the sex trade, several sources have corroborated the information given by police.

Victoria Head, 36, was found dead in a field near O'Brien's Farm Road in St. John's on Nov. 11. (Facebook)

On Nov. 12, the RNC issued a missing persons statement. They were looking for a 35-year-old man named Stephan Bragg.

"That's the same one," Dinn told reporters outside court on Saturday. "He came back Monday (Nov. 13) with his family. She never came back to her family."

Seeing Bragg sitting in court filled her with anger, she said.

"Christmas is two days away and it was her favourite time of the year. I'm broken. The family is broken."

Remembered for her smile 

Victoria Head was born in Placentia, a small seaside town, west of St. John's. After Billy Jo moved to the city, the rest of the family followed.

She struggled with addiction but had started to clean up her life, he said. Her death leaves behind a 17-year-old daughter.

"It still hasn't hit me yet," Billy Jo said. "I went to the funeral home but I couldn't go in and look at the casket."

A few days before her death, she'd dropped off new clothes to Billy Jo, who had just started a new job working outdoors.

"She was always smiling, would do anything for anybody," he said. "I feel bad wearing them now, but it keeps me warm and I think about her when I'm wearing them."

Bragg was remanded to custody and will appear in court again Jan. 11. He will be represented by legal aid lawyer Jason Edwards.

He has no criminal record.

Steve Bragg is escorted into provincial court on Saturday, where he made his first appearance after being arrested for the murder of Victoria Head. (Ryan Cooke/CBC)

Police say Bragg and Head knew each other, but her family doesn't know what the link between them is — they'd never seen him before.

What happened that morning remains a mystery. Investigators are hush on the cause of death and cannot say whether she died in the field near O'Brien Farm Road, or if her body was dumped there.

The unknowns leave Darlene Dinn playing scenarios through her head.

"Her last moments — I can't get it out of my head. I just can't."

About the Author

Ryan Cooke works for CBC out of its bureau in St. John's.