Basil Borutski formally arraigned on charges of first degree murder
Basil Borutski Court sketch by Greg Banning/Postmedia Network
Basil Borutski was formally arraigned Tuesday on charges of first degree murder in connection with the deaths of three Renfrew County women.
Making a brief appearance in the Ontario Court of Justice in Pembroke, the 58-year-old Borutski said nothing and stared directly at the public gallery as Justice Robert Selkirk ordered the accused to stand trial. He faces three counts of first-degree murder in the deaths of three Ottawa Valley women. On Sept. 22, 2015 the bodies of Anastasia Kuzyk, Nathalie Warmerdam and Carol Culleton were discovered in the Wilno/Barry’s Bay area.
“As has been his custom, Mr. Borutski remains mute,” Selkirk told the courtroom as Borutski refused to acknowledge the justice when he asked him if he wanted a preliminary hearing. At a preliminary hearing, the court merely determines if there is some evidence upon which a reasonable jury, properly instructed, could convict an accused. The accused refused to stand or even look at the master clerk as she formally read the three charges during the arraignment. With the defendant remaining quiet even after the charges were read, a plea of not guilty was automatically entered. The court also made an election of trial by judge and jury for Borutski.
Duty counsel Biagio Del Greco informed the court that he had spoken to Bortuski, who remains in custody at the Ottawa-Carleton Detention Centre, but the defendant gave him no instructions. Crown attorney Jeff Richardson informed the court he would be filing an application for a court-appointed lawyer for Borutski.
Selkirk committed the accused to stand trial in Ontario Superior Court. The case next moves to a judicial pre-trial on June 13.