A Yellowknife man accused of murdering a young woman finally goes on trial next week.
Devon Larabie is charged with second degree murder in the death of a 22-year-old woman in Yellowknife three and a half years ago.
Larabie was charged almost immediately after RCMP found the body of Breanna Menacho in a Yellowknife apartment on May 6, 2020. Menacho had been reported missing the day before.
Larabie, who is in his early 30s, is on his fourth publicly-funded lawyer, having fired the first three before he got to trial. In an effort to avoid the same thing happening again, the court has appointed a kind of backup lawyer to take over should Larabie fire his current attorney, Ottawa-based Michael Spratt.
Larabie’s trial begins Tuesday in Yellowknife. He has chosen to be tried before a judge without a jury.
The prosecutor has received permission to have a number of police witnesses, who have since moved to other jurisdictions, testify via video. The judge has also granted requests to allow some civilian witnesses to testify from behind a screen in the courtroom and others to testify from another room via closed-circuit television.
Spratt has served notice that Larabie is challenging the validity of the search of Larabie’s apartment that led to the discovery of Menacho’s body in 2020. Larabie, through his lawyer, is arguing that all of the evidence the RCMP found that day, including Menacho’s body, should not be allowed to be used as evidence.
After that initial search, police got a search warrant and returned to conduct a more thorough search of Larabie’s residence.