Man charged in triple murder appears by video in Pembroke court
Joanne Schnurr, CTV Ottawa
Published Monday, November 2, 2015 5:11PM EST
Last Updated Monday, November 2, 2015 6:35PM EST
The man accused of killing 3 Ottawa valley women in September appeared by video in a Pembroke court today. Outside the court, supporters of the victims stood as a visual reminder that they won't be forgotten.
57-year-old Basil Borutski has yet to find a lawyer to represent him so this was a quick up and down. That didn't really matter to the women who gathered outside the courthouse.
It was only a 10 minute appearance but it moved the judicial process one step closer to closure for the family, friends and supporters of the 3 victims.
Joanne Brooks is with the Women’s Sexual Assault Centre of Renfrew County, and joined several women outside the Pembroke courthouse in a silent protest.
‘I think it's sends a message that we are in solidarity with the family of the women murdered,’ Brooks explained, as passing cars honked their support.
Basil Borutski is charged with the first degree murders of 36-year-old Anastasia Kuzyk, 48-year-old Nathalie Warmerdam and 66-year-old Carol Culleton. Their bodies were found within hours of each other on September 22 in an area around Wilno. Borutski was arrested that same day in rural Ottawa after a massive manhunt.
Brooks explains that the volunteers with the Sexual Assault Centre have made a commitment to be outside the Pembroke courthouse each time Borutski appears as a show of solidarity and a reminder that there is help out there for women.
‘It's very easy to point blame at what might have happened,’ she says. ‘I think good things will come of this. There will be an inquest no doubt and teachings of how things could be better but at the end of the day, an individual chose to murder 3 women and they're dead.’
Borutski has a lengthy criminal record of abuse against women including two of the women killed. He is in an Ottawa jail, appearing today by video. Wearing an orange jumpsuit, Borutski let out a large yawn then said ‘No’ when the judge asked him to pick up the phone to speak to a lawyer. Court heard that Borutski has yet to find someone to represent him. Lawyer Biagio del Greco was hired by Legal Aid for today's appearance and said that at some point court may want to appoint someone to move this along.
For now Borutski remains in jail awaiting his next court date December 7th. The protesters promise to be there as well, looking for answers as to why these three women died and how it could have been prevented.