Trent Butt guilty of 1st-degree murder in daughter’s death

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Trent Butt, a Newfoundland man who killed his only child in what the Crown called an act of vengeance against his estranged wife, was found guilty of first-degree murder Friday in Quinn Butt’s death. 

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The Supreme Court jury delivered its decision on Friday afternoon.

The courtroom, so crowded with onlookers that some had to stand, erupted with emotions, including tears and gasps, when the jury’s verdict was announced. 

The two-week trial was emotional, with jurors listening to heart-wrenching testimony from Andrea Gosse, Quinn’s mother, as well as the first responders who found the five-year-old girl’s dead body in Trent Butt’s burning Carbonear home in April 2016. 

The RCMP, including the officer in charge of the murder investigation, will respond to the verdict at 4:30 p.m. NT.

Earlier in the day, jurors came back with a question and reviewed some evidence as part of their deliberations.

Friday marked the second day of deliberations for the 12 jurors, who had been sequestered the previous afternoon.

The Crown and defence wrapped up closing arguments Thursday morning.

Emotions ran high

In his instructions to the jury, Justice Donald Burrage reminded them they must use reason to reach a decision, and not emotion. 

The five-year-old body of Quinn Butt was removed from her father’s Carbonear home in the early morning hours of April 24, 2016. (Submitted photo)

Butt was originally charged with both first-degree murder and arson, pleading not guilty to both. At the onset of the trial though, he changed the arson plea to guilty, acknowledging he started the fire at his home. 

There’s a sentencing hearing scheduled for April 23 to deal with the arson plea.

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