Alleged serial killer Bruce McArthur's pre-trial hearing set for November 30
Published Monday, November 5, 2018 5:16AM EST Last Updated Monday, November 5, 2018 8:10PM EST
A pre-trial hearing for accused serial killer Bruce McArthur has been set for the end of November.
Two weeks after waiving his right to a preliminary inquiry, McArthur appeared in Ontario’s Superior Court of Justice on Monday morning.
During this time, a pre-trial hearing date was set for Nov. 30.
McArthur was dressed in blue jeans, a blue dress shirt and a dark sweater inside the courtroom. He looked down at the floor, avoiding the sight of the visitor gallery. The accused serial killer did not speak but acknowledged the judge when being spoken to.
The judge explained to the court and to McArthur the process going forward, saying the case will go through a judicial pretrial before the trial begins in either September 2019 or January 2020.
McArthur’s lawyer previously told the court that his client conceded there was sufficient evidence in the case to move directly to trial, bringing the case to the Superior Court.
“A pre-trial hearing is a meeting between the judge in Superior Court, who is managing the case, plus the defense council plus the crown attorney. At a pre-trial hearing, things like disclosure issues are discussed – if there is a plea in the works then that could be discussed,” CP24’s crime specialist Steve Ryan said regarding the procedure.
“Waiving his right to a preliminary inquiry is significant because it allows for one of two options: number one - to get on with his trial but when you’re looking at eight counts of first-degree murder and spending the rest of your life in jail you might want to hear some of the case and have your lawyer cross examine those witnesses before it gets to a trial, or number two - the possibility of a guilty plea.”
McArthur, a 67-year-old self-employed landscaper is facing eight counts of first-degree murder in connection with the deaths of Andrew Kinsman, Selim Esen, Majeed Kayhan, Soroush Mahmudi, Dean Lisowick, Skandaraj Navaratnam, Abdulbasir Faizi and Kirushna Kumar Kanagaratnam.
Many of the men had ties to the city’s LGBTQ community and had been previously reported as missing.
Following a months-long investigation, McArthur was arrested in January.
As the investigation unfolded in the months that followed, officers said they found the remains of eight men at or near a Leaside home where McArthur stored tools for his landscaping business.
Investigators previously said they do not believe there are any more alleged victims.
None of the charges have been proven in court.
Toronto Police Chief Mark Saunders said he’s pleased that the preliminary inquiry was skipped and that he’s “looking forward” to the trial.
“We certainly have a lot of growing, a lot of healing, a lot of relationship-building in the process, but I think that’s a critical piece,” he told CP24.
“I think – I know – it will provide a much faster timeline to get to the conclusion of the trial itself.”