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Nova Scotia court rejects bid to delay appeal in murder of young Inuit woman – CP

by ahnationtalk on April 12, 201712 Views

Source: The Canadian Press
Apr 12, 2017 

By The Canadian Press


HALIFAX _ A Nova Scotia woman who pleaded guilty to murdering a young Inuit woman has failed to win a delay in her appeal, as she acts as her own lawyer.

Victoria Henneberry is asking for a new trial on grounds that she panicked when she pleaded guilty to the second-degree murder of Loretta Saunders of Labrador, a former roommate in Halifax whose body was found on the side of a New Brunswick highway in February 2014.

The Nova Scotia Court of Appeal this morning ruled the case will go forward, after Crown lawyer Mark Scott asked it to reject Henneberry’s claim that she isn’t ready.

Henneberry is representing herself, and argued she was not prepared mentally, that her mental health assessments have not been fully compiled, and she hasn’t found a psychiatrist she’s comfortable with.

Henneberry didn’t bring any documents with her and only one piece of evidence, a written note by a psychiatrist she once saw recording Henneberry’s past and present mental state.

Her appeal will continue this afternoon.

Henneberry and her boyfriend, Blake Leggette, pleaded guilty as their murder trial was starting on April 22, 2015.

Henneberry was sentenced to life in prison with no eligibility for parole for 10 years, while Leggette was sentenced to a mandatory life sentence with no parole eligibility for 25 years for a first-degree conviction.

Two statements of fact submitted to Nova Scotia Supreme Court say the couple was having “financial difficulties” soon after they moved into a sublet room in Saunders’ apartment, which they had found through a Kijiji ad in January 2014.

The documents say the two wanted to get out of Halifax, but give no indication why.

“Mr. Leggette planned to kill Ms. Saunders, take her car and leave the province,” both statements say.

On Feb. 13, 2014, Saunders went to collect rent from the couple but they didn’t have the money, and Henneberry lied that she had lost her bank card and needed to contact her bank, according to one of the statements.

Leggette then grabbed Saunders by the throat and choked her, but the young woman fought back, managing to tear through the three plastic bags he pulled over her head.

At one point, Leggette and Saunders fell down. He twice hit her head on the floor and she stopped moving.

Saunders body was found in a hockey bag on the side of the Trans-Canada Highway near Salisbury, N.B., about two weeks after she was last seen on Feb. 13, 2014.

Leggette and Henneberry were arrested five days later in Harrow, Ont., while driving Saunders’ car. They also had the young woman’s phone, bank card and identification.



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