Man charged with murder in death of N.S. yoga instructor
A 33-year-old man has been charged with second-degree murder in the death of a well-known yoga instructor in the Halifax area.
The charge comes after Halifax Regional Police responded to a trouble call at a home on Oceanview Drive off Purcells Cove Road around 7:45 a.m. on March 26.
Officers found the body of 32-year-old Kristin Elizabeth Johnston inside the home. Police won’t say how she died, but they believe she died that day.
A man was arrested at the scene, but he required immediate medical attention and was taken to hospital with serious, but non-life-threatening injuries.
Nicholas Jordan Butcher of Halifax was rearrested around noon Monday after he was released from the Queen Elizabeth II Health Sciences Centre.
“We arrested (Butcher) yesterday upon his release from hospital where he had been receiving treatment since March 26,” said Supt. Jim Perrin of Halifax Regional Police on Tuesday.
Butcher is charged with second-degree murder in Johnston’s death and made a brief court appearance Tuesday afternoon.
“What differentiates first to second is that first usually has elements of planning and deliberation, and that's why we're left with second-degree murder at this point,” said Crown attorney Carla Ball.
He was remanded into custody and is due back in court on April 27.
At a news conference Tuesday, police confirmed that Johnston and Butcher were in a relationship, calling the incident a “domestic situation.”
They also said they believe they know the motivation for the murder, but declined to discuss it at this time.
Dalhousie University has confirmed that Butcher graduated from its Schulich School of Law last year.
The Nova Scotia Barristers Society says he didn't apply for enrollment as an articling clerk and had not been called to the bar, meaning he has not been practicing law in the province.
Police refused to comment on Butcher’s injuries.
“To be frank, it's really not part of our concern how Mr. Butcher is,” said Supt. Perrin. “Our thoughts and prayers go out to the victim and the victim's families.”
Police say Johnston and Butcher were the only people present when the homicide occurred.
“Ms. Johnston was a young lady in the prime of her life, and it's very unfortunate what happened. We just hope that the actions that we took can help the family start the process, begin to process what happened,” said Supt. Perrin.
Johnston was the owner and instructor at a yoga studio in Halifax, which closed down in February.
A public memorial to celebrate Johnston's life was held Saturday at the Shambhala School in Halifax, where people shared memories of the yoga teacher.
With files from CTV Atlantic’s Kayla Hounsell.