Victim's best friend testifies at Nicholas Butcher murder trial

Marsha Scott
April 7, 2018

Michael Blagg was first convicted back in 2004, but a judge overturned that conviction after the defense discovered one of the original jurors lied about being a victim of domestic violence. Blagg was also found guilty of several other charges, including use of a deadly weapon. Jennifer Blagg's body was found in the Mesa County landfill several months later.

Butcher, 35, is charged with second-degree murder in the March 2016 death of his girlfriend, Kristin Johnston, a 32-year-old Halifax yoga teacher.

Prosecutors argued that Blagg put his wife's body in a dumpster at work after killing her in 2001. Fang also said the blood found in the minivan could have been tracked in by an investigator.

Though historically it's been hard to get a judge to alter a verdict based on later complaints by a juror, the lawyers, in their filing, cited a 2017 U.S. Supreme Court decision allowing a judge weighing a new trial to review whether jurors acted with racist intentions in order to reach a verdict.

Crown attorney Tanya Carter has told the jury the medical examiner found Johnston died of 10 sharp-force wounds to her neck.

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"Jennifer and Abby were precious as any parent recognizes their children are", said Marilyn Conway, Jennifer Blagg's mother. "They cannot understand how the judge could have prevented the jury from hearing evidence that Abby Blagg was abducted by a convicted child sexual predator named Phillip Bruinsma, who shot and killed Jennifer Blagg during the abduction of her daughter".

Hazard said Johnston informed her that the couple had planned to go to British Columbia to be near Johnston's sister but that she now wanted to go alone.

Hazard said she challenged Johnston that her relationship with Butcher didn't sound like love. "I will see Jennifer and Abby ... but my world is never going to be complete until I do".

This is a developing story that will be updated.

Other reports by MaliBehiribAe

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