Catie Miller's accused killers appear in Halifax court
Jason Johnson and Kelly MacDonald charged with 1st-degree murder
Two people accused of killing Catie Miller made a brief appearance in Nova Scotia provincial court in Dartmouth this morning.
Jason Johnson, 29, of Halifax and his girlfriend Kelly MacDonald, 33, of Lawrencetown, have been charged with first-degree murder and interfering with Miller's remains.
Miller, a 29-year-old Dartmouth mother of one went missing in mid-July of last year.
On Friday morning, Johnson's lawyer, Ray Kuszelewski, said his client is waiving his right to a preliminary inquiry and wants to go directly to trial.
"Mr. Johnson has decided that he doesn't need a preliminary inquiry," Kuszelewski said outside court.
"The evidence that we've already been presented in disclosure is sufficient and there's nobody that we need to speak to or hear from before we can agree to have this matter committed to trial."
However, MacDonald's lawyer said his client still wants a preliminary.
"We need to see the Crown case, how strong it is," Pavel Boubonov said outside court. "At this point we're committed to trial. It will be, based on my instruction, judge and jury trial. Full blown. And we're looking for about a month in Supreme Court for that."
Boubanov said with only his client involved, the preliminary inquiry should be complete in two days, instead of the five that was originally scheduled. The hearing is scheduled for early October.
The case is scheduled to go to Nova Scotia Supreme Court for the first time at the end of October, after the completion of MacDonald's preliminary. That's when lawyers will set dates for a judge and jury trial.
It's expected that trial will happen next fall.
Johnson and MacDonald have been in custody since their arrests in November.
George Hubley, 30, of Sheet Harbour Passage, has been charged with being an accessory after the fact by disposing Miller's remains.
Police have said MacDonald and Hubley did not know Miller, but the murder victim knew Johnson.