Judge to decide parole eligibility for Nicholas Butcher, Halifax man convicted of killing Kristin Johnston

File - Nicholas Butcher arrives at provincial court in Halifax on Tuesday, April 12, 2016. Andrew Vaughan/The Canadian Press

A judge is expected to release a ruling today on when a Halifax man convicted in the violent death of a Montreal-born businesswoman will be able to apply for parole.

Nova Scotia Supreme Court Judge Joshua Arnold reserved his parole eligibility decision for Nicholas Butcher after a hearing in July.

READ MORE: ‘I wanted to die’: Nicholas Butcher testifies he fatally stabbed Kristin Johnston after being attacked

Butcher was convicted of second-degree murder in April after a jury found he stabbed 32-year-old Kristin Johnston to death on March 26, 2016.

The conviction carries an automatic life sentence, but a hearing was held to determine when Butcher could apply for parole.

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Crown prosecutor Carla Ball argued he should not be allowed to apply for parole for 17 years, noting what she described as Butcher’s “forethought” for confrontation and that Johnston was his domestic partner.

But defence lawyer Peter Planetta said his client should be eligible for parole after 10 years, pointing to mitigating factors such as his clean record and prospects for rehabilitation.

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