Halifax man accused of murdering girlfriend seeks new trial dates

A Halifax man accused of murdering his girlfriend, Kristin Johnston, says he will not be ready to go on trial in Nova Scotia Supreme Court later this month.

Nicholas Butcher, 34, appeared in court Thursday morning and confirmed he would not be ready to proceed with his judge and jury trial, which was scheduled to begin on April 24. He fired his legal aid lawyer last month.

He told Justice Patrick Duncan he's been approved for another legal aid certificate and given a list of prospective lawyers. Butcher said he's started calling the names on that list and is looking for "the right fit."

He'll return to court later this month to update the judge on his search and discuss possible new trial dates.

Butcher was dressed in a suit and tie Thursday and spoke confidently to the judge. He has a law degree from Dalhousie University. His right hand was still bandaged. It was severed shortly after the murder and had to be surgically reattached.

Police were called to a home on Oceanview Drive in the Purcells Cove area of Halifax on the morning of March 26, 2016. They found the body of Johnston, 32, a popular yoga instructor. Butcher, who also lived in the home, was arrested at the time.