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Pembroke justice orders Basil Borutski to get a lawyer

By Sean Chase, The Daily Observer

Basil Borutski
Court sketch by Greg Banning/Postmedia Network

Basil Borutski Court sketch by Greg Banning/Postmedia Network

The man charged with first degree murder in the deaths of three Renfrew County women has been ordered to get a lawyer.

There was an increased police presence at the Pembroke courthouse Tuesday as Basil Borutski made a brief appearance to learn that the Crown has received disclosure, or evidence, in his case.

Justice Robert Selkirk granted an adjournment until March 3 in order to give the Crown and the accused opportunities to review the disclosure. Borutski is charged with three counts of first-degree murder in the killings of three women in western Renfrew County.

On Sept. 22 the bodies of 36-year-old Anastasia Kuzyk and 48-year-old Nathalie Warmerdam were found in their homes in Wilno and the Bonnechere Valley. Carol Culleton, 66, was found dead in her cottage near Barry's Bay.

Wearing a grey coat, the defendant sat quietly in the prisoner's dock often glancing over into the public gallery. When Selkirk asked Borutski if had obtained a lawyer, the 58-year-old just shrugged his shoulders drawing an admonition from the justice.

"These are very serious charges and you need the services of a lawyer," said Selkirk.

The justice noted that a lawyer will eventually be appointed for the accused.

Duty counsel Biagio Del Greco informed the court that Legal Aid Ontario has not received instructions from Borutski as of yet. Crown attorney Jeff Richardson said his office will make the disclosure available to Borutski who is currently in custody at the Ottawa-Carleton Detention Centre.

sean.chase@sunmedia.ca