Almost three years have passed since the death of 22-year-old Breanna Menacho and a trial date has just officially been set for the man accused of murdering her.
Devon Larabie appeared by video at the N.W.T. Supreme Court in Yellowknife on Monday, where his judge alone trial is now scheduled for Nov. 14.
He faces second-degree murder charges in the death of Menacho, whose body was found in Yellowknife in May of 2020.
Larabie's co-accused Jordan Nande and Lisa Brulé were sentenced over two years ago, after they pleaded guilty on charges related to the death.
The delay in scheduling the trial is partially the result of Larabie firing all of his previous legal counsel — he is currently on his fourth lawyer. The previous three were provided by legal aid.
The legal aid program doesn't normally provide a third lawyer to a client who's fired the previous two, but in this case a third was provided and subsequently fired by Larabie.
Michael Spratt, an Ottawa-based lawyer is now representing him.
The cost is being covered by the federal government as part of a law requiring the courts to provide legal representation for an accused to ensure a right to a fair trial.
The legal precedent also allows accused to retain lawyers that don't practice in the N.W.T. Spratt, however, has worked in the N.W.T. previously.
Spratt's website bio says he appears as an expert witness before the House of Commons and the Senate, providing expert evidence on criminal law policy and legislation.
Spratt will appear in court on Jan. 30 to discuss a pre-trial motion on the warrantless search of Larabie's residence.
The charges Larabie faces haven't been proven in court and he is presumed innocent until proven guilty.
He's now spent nearly three years in custody awaiting trial.
Since a Supreme Court ruling in 2014, it is common for every day spent in custody before the sentence to result in a day and half being deducted from the final sentence. However, a judge can also decide to not deduct the day and a half and just deduct a full day.