News Provincial

Borutski to be arraigned on April 19

By Sean Chase, The Daily Observer

Basil Borutski
Court sketch by Greg Banning/Postmedia Network

Basil Borutski Court sketch by Greg Banning/Postmedia Network

PEMBROKE - 

The case against a man charged with first degree murder in the deaths of three Renfrew County women will move forward to the next stage, a Pembroke court heard Tuesday.

Making a brief appearance in the Ontario Court of Justice, Basil Borutski was ordered to return on April 19 when he will be formally arraigned on three counts of first degree murder in the killings of Anastasia Kuzyk, Nathalie Warmerdam and Carol Culleton.

Justice Robert Selkirk informed the court that the Royal Ottawa Hospital has completed an assessment to see if Borutski is fit to stand trial noting their findings are “inconclusive.”

With an increased police presence in the courtroom, a disheveled-looking Borutski said nothing and showed no emotion as he was escorted to the prisoner’s dock. Crown attorney Jeff Richardson said a copy of disclosure, or the evidence that the Crown and police have collected to prosecute the case, is being sent to the Ottawa-Carleton Detention Centre, where Borutski remains in custody.

Duty counsel Biagio Del Greco informed the court that he has yet to receive instructions from Borutski, who still has not hired a lawyer. Selkirk informed Borutski that once the charges have been formally read to him he will have the opportunity to request a preliminary hearing, the process by which a judge determines if the accused should be tried for the crime he is charged with, based on whether there is substantial evidence that the accused committed the crime.

“If he doesn’t want a preliminary hearing he won’t get one,” Selkirk told the court.

The justice encouraged Richardson to move the case along noting it has been more than six months since Borutski was taken into custody after being arrested in Kinburn near Ottawa on Sept. 22, 2015. Earlier that day, the bodies of 36-year-old Kuzyk and 48-year-old Warmerdam were found in their homes in Wilno and Bonnechre Valley, while Culleton, 66, was found dead in her cottage near Barry's Bay.


SChase@postmedia.com