Murder trial date set for Akim Frank in death of Linnea Veinotte

The Grenadian man accused of killing New Brunswick-born Linnea Veinotte in 2015 and ditching her body near a golf course will go to trial on Nov. 21.

That date was set after a status hearing in a courtroom in St. George's, Grenada, last Thursday.

Akim Frank, who was 26 at the time of Veinotte's death, has remained in jail since he turned himself in to police six days after Veinotte disappeared Dec. 6, 2015.

Police say it was Frank who led investigators to the partly decomposed body of  Veinotte, 36, some six kilometres from where police found collision debris. He allegedly struck Veinotte with a borrowed SUV.

Veinotte, who was born in New Denmark, had a doctorate in genetics from the University of British Columbia and had taken a teaching position at St. George's University in Grenada. She and her husband, Matt, and their two young sons, Isaac and Lucas, moved to the Caribbean country in 2015 from Glen Haven, N.S.

​The cause of her death was described as blunt force trauma to the chest and lower limb due to a vehicular accident.

Because of her body's decomposition, pathologists couldn't say how long Veinotte survived after being hit or whether she died instantly.

Frank has already pleaded not guilty to a charge of non-capital murder, and a preliminary inquiry wrapped up a year ago. 

In Grenada, murder is classified as either capital or non-capital, senior crown prosecutor Howard Pinnock explained by email.

"Capital murder includes the unlawful killing of a judicial, police or correctional officer or the killing of any person during the course of a robbery, sexual offence, arson, drug offence, burglary or ... 'contract killing,'" wrote Pinnock.

"All other unlawful killings are defined as non-capital."

Capital murder convictions in Grenada are punishable by death and non-capital murder convictions bring a maximum sentence of life in prison.

Out walking the dog

On the morning of Sunday, Dec. 6, 2015, Veinotte went out for a walk with her dog, Nico.

The dog was later found in an injured state and required surgery.

But Veinotte was never seen alive again by friends or family.

Matt Veinotte's last update on the Facebook memorial page devoted to his late wife is dated April 27, 2016, which was also the day Isaac turned six.

"It's been 143 days now and life isn't getting any easier," he wrote.

"Everywhere I go I see children with their mommies and want that so bad for Lucas and Isaac."

At the office of the director of public prosecutions, Pinnock had been anticipating a trial date in the latter part of 2017, because he said there were a number of other defendants on remand also awaiting trial.

In an email from August 2016, Pinnock wrote: "Her Majesty's Prison advised that they have 38 persons on remand awaiting trial. Almost all before Mr. Frank, as we try to do the cases on a first come basis.

"The Criminal Court sits in Grenada continuously except for August, which is the summer vacation."

Pinnock went on to say, that in his opinion, criminal matters do move along in Grenada in a reasonable and expeditious manner.