Yellowknife man accused of murder fired all his legal aid lawyers, what happens next?
The federal government may be forced to cover the legal expenses of a man accused of second-degree murder after he fired his third and final lawyer provided by the publicly funded N.W.T. Legal Aid Commission.
Devon Larabie appeared in N.W.T. Supreme Court in Yellowknife on Wednesday to determine the next steps in finding legal counsel before the trial, that was supposed to start on Sept. 26, can begin.
He is facing the murder charges after 22-year-old Breanna Menacho died in a Yellowknife apartment in May 2020.
On Sept. 21, Larabie fired defence attorney Scott Cowan, delaying the murder trial.
At a hearing on the subject about a week later, legal aid lawyer Peter Adourian said legal aid's policy is not to assign a third lawyer. Though Larabie did get a third lawyer, he was told in writing that Cowan would be his last.
Now, a court hearing will be held on Oct. 28 for a Rowbotham application to determine if a lawyer can be provided for Larabie and funded by the federal government.
A Rowbotham application is a legal precedent that aims to ensure the right to a fair trial.
The application means council is provided through the court, in this case Supreme.
But in order for the application to be approved, a few details need to be proven. The first being that the client has used all of the lawyers that can be provided by legal aid.
The case must involve complex and serious charges and the client must prove they can't afford a lawyer on their own.
Adourian, who is assisting Larabie in finding legal representation, said at court on Wednesday he believes all the relevant details, including proof of Larabie's financial situation, can be provided by the next court date on Oct. 28.
But Larabie will still need to decide on a lawyer, which Adourian said he has narrowed down to about two or three.
On Wednesday, Larabie said he still needs to decide which lawyer would be best for him.
Larabie said he is looking for lawyers who do not practice in the N.W.T.
A Rowbotham application means that the lawyer could come from outside the territory and apply to become a member of the N.W.T. bar.