November 30, 2018 7:28 am
Updated: November 30, 2018 11:07 am

Trial for alleged serial killer Bruce McArthur set for January 2020

As Catherine McDonald reports, many are speculating why the accused serial killer opted to go straight to trial.

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The trial for a man accused of killing eight men with ties to Toronto’s gay village will begin in the first week of January 2020.

Bruce McArthur, a self-employed landscaper who faces eight counts of first-degree murder, made a brief appearance at Ontario Superior Court in Toronto on Friday for a pre-trial hearing where Justice John McMahon initially suggested a trial date of September 2019, but the defence argued he isn’t available until January 2020.

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The accused appeared in court wearing dark blue jeans, a black V-neck sweater and a plaid shirt.

Justice McMahon said the murder trial is expected to last three to four months. McArthur is scheduled to be back in court on Dec. 13 to continue his judicial pre-trial.

The 67-year-old waived his right to a preliminary hearing last month and proceedings moved from a lower court to the Superior Court.

READ MORE: Alleged serial killer Bruce McArthur could stand trial as soon as September

Justice McMahon laid out the anticipated timeline for the case earlier this month.

The first step, McMahon said, is the judicial pre-trial, where McArthur’s lawyer will meet with the Crown attorney and the judge in private.

McMahon also asked lawyers questions about how the case has progressed so far, noting that a 2016 Supreme Court of Canada decision had set limits on how long proceedings should take. The top court has said matters in Superior Court should not take longer than 30 months.

READ MORE: Toronto home linked to Bruce McArthur investigation has ceremony for renewal

McArthur was arrested in January and stands accused of killing Majeed Kayhan, Selim Esen, Skandaraj Navaratnam, Andrew Kinsman, Dean Lisowick, Soroush Mahmudi, Abdulbasir Faizi and Kirushna Kanagaratnam. The men all went missing from Toronto’s gay village between 2010 and 2017.

The remains of seven of the alleged victims have been found in large planters at a property where McArthur worked as a landscaper. The remains of the eighth alleged victim were found in a ravine behind the same property in midtown Toronto.

Funerals for some of the alleged victims have taken place after police released some of the remains to their loved ones.

The trial is scheduled to begin on Jan. 6, 2020.

–With a file from Catherine McDonald and the Canadian Press

© 2018 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.

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