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Brandon Noftall is charged with killing his stepfather last December in Renews
A man charged with killing his stepfather in December made an appearance in provincial court Monday morning, where he told the judge he hopes Legal Aid will pay for a private lawyer for him.
Brandon Noftall, 26, has been in custody since Dec. 18, when the RCMP charged him with second-degree murder in connection with the death of 41-year-old Bobby Noftall in Renews that day. Sources say Bobby Noftall had been stabbed.
Brandon Noftall had originally been represented by a lawyer with Legal Aid who was forced to withdraw from the case due to a conflict of interest.
“I don’t really want to be represented by a second-rate lawyer at a murder trial,” Noftall said Monday, appearing in court by video from Her Majesty’s Penitentiary.
“I don’t really want to be represented by a second-rate lawyer at a murder trial." — Brandon Noftall
He indicated he had made an application to Legal Aid for funding of a private defence lawyer’s fees.
In 2008 the provincial government amended its Legal Aid Act to allow Legal Aid clients who were charged with murder or manslaughter to choose a lawyer in private practice if they preferred. The government removed that option in 2018, though the director of the Legal Aid Commission has the power to make an exception in extenuating circumstances.
“The Legal Aid Commission employs highly skilled and experienced lawyers with expertise in family and criminal law,” the Department of Justice said in a news release when the option was revoked. “Legal Aid lawyers deliver a high-quality service, competently representing the commission’s client on matters on which they have vast amounts of experience.”
Judge David Orr postponed the matter until March 8, to allow time for Noftall’s application to be heard and further decisions made on how to proceed.
In addition to murder, Noftall is facing two assault charges, as well as charges of assault with a weapon and uttering threats in relation to an incident alleged to have occurred in November 2019. He is also charged with five counts of breaching court orders, including an allegation that he violated an order prohibiting him from carrying or possessing a knife.