Opening arguments expected today in Saunders murder trial

The family of Loretta Saunders heading into court Tuesday

Trina Roache
APTN National News
Opening arguments are set to begin Wednesday afternoon in a Halifax courtroom as the trial for the murder of Loretta Saunders gets underway.

Blake Leggette and Victoria Henneberry are both charged with first degree murder.

The two accused rented an apartment from Saunders in Halifax.

Henneberry is facing an additional charge of accessory to murder after the fact.

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Court artist sketch of Hennebury and her lawyer (Courtesy: Russell Jackson, drawthepublic.com)

Saunders’ family has travelled from Labrador for the trial.

They sat in the courtroom yesterday as jury selection wrapped up.

The 12 person jury is made up of eight men and four women.

Related: Jury Selection

“I want justice for my daughter,” said an emotional Miriam Saunders, Loretta’s mother.

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Saunders family in court Tuesday

The 26 year old Saunders went to university in Halifax.

Her thesis was focused on missing and murdered Indigenous women.

She was killed Feb. 13, 2014.

The two accused were arrested days later in Ontario with Saunders car and cellphone.

Saunders body was found along the side of the Trans Canada highway near Salisbury, New Brunswick.

The family has said it will be difficult to sit through the trial but they want to see the faces of the accused, and keep the focus on Loretta.

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Loretta Saunders in an undated photo

The family has set up a scholarship fund in her name, as a way to inspire and help other indigenous women in Canada.

The trial continues at 2pm ATL Wednesday.

Follow @TrinaRoache on Twitter for updates.

 

 

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.