Jury selection begins in Loretta Saunders murder trial

Trina Roache
APTN National News
HALIFAX – Jury selection is underway in the trial of two people accused of killing Loretta Saunders.

Crown and defence lawyers will whittle down the numbers of prospective jurors to 12, along with two spares.

Victoria Henneberry and Blake Leggette are both charged with first-degree murder. The couple sublet an apartment from Saunders in Halifax.

Saunders, 26, and Inuk from Labrador, was going to Saint Mary’s University in Halifax. Her thesis work was focused on missing and murdered Indigenous women. She herself, was killed in February of 2014. Her body was found two weeks later along a New Brunswick highway.

Saunders’ family has travelled from Labrador for the trial, though they were advised not to come to the courthouse Monday for the first day of jury selection. Fundraisers to help pay for the family’s stay in Halifax have already happened in Labrador.

A screening of the film “Highway of Tears” is set to raise money for the Loretta Saunders Scholarship fund beginning at 7 p.m. Monday at the Bus Stop Theatre in Halifax.

The trial is expected to last four weeks.

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Video Journalist

Trina Roache brings 18 years of journalistic experience to APTN Investigates. A member of the Glooscap First Nation in unceded Mi’kmaw territory, Trina has covered Indigenous issues from politics to land protection, treaty rights and more. In 2014, Trina won the Journalists for Human Rights/CAJ award for her series on Jordan’s Principle. She was nominated again in 2017 for a series on healthcare issues in the remote Labrador community of Black Tickle. Trina’s favorite placed is behind the camera, and is honoured when the people living the story, trust her to tell it.