Quinn Butt’s mother relieved after Trent Butt guilty of first-degree murder
St. John’s, NL — Trent Butt has been found guilty of first-degree murder for killing his five-year-old daughter, Quinn.
The jury reached its decision this afternoon at 3:30 after a day of deliberations.
The sentence carries a mandatory life sentence, with no possibility of parole for 25 years.
Andrea Gosse, Quinn’s mother and Butt’s ex-wife, said to Butt, “You won’t be going to the same place Quinn is.”
Shortly after, Gosse was interviewed by reporters on the front steps of Newfoundland Supreme Court. As she spoke, “Fight Song,” which she had said was hers and Quinn’s favourite song, was playing on her cellphone.
“It felt like it took forever, but we finally got justice for Quinn and now we’ll work to protect other children and make changes in honour of her.”
Butt, 40, has already pleaded guilty to arson for burning down his Carbonear house after he killed Quinn in April 2016.
Justice Donald Burrage will hand down the sentence in court April 23, at which time Gosse, as well as other family members and friends, will present victim impact statements.
The jury has reached a verdict in the case of Trent Butt.
The 40-year-old stands charged with first-degree murder in the April 2016 death of his five-year-old daughter, Quinn. He has admitted to killing Quinn, but says he didn’t plan or intend to kill her, and he doesn’t remember doing it.
The jury, which began deliberations early Thursday afternoon after a week-long trial, must decide whether Butt is guilty of first-degree murder, second-degree murder or manslaughter.
In order to convict him of first-degree murder, the jurors must be unanimously satisfied beyond a reasonable doubt that Butt planned and deliberately killed his daughter. If they are satisfied instead that he acted in the moment, they must convict him of the lesser charge of second-degree murder. Both charges carry life sentences, with varying minimum years before parole eligibility.
This morning, jurors asked Justice Donald Burrage if they could see the evidence again of the lead RCMP investigator that included surveillance video seized from Butt’s home. The video was recorded by a camera set up in a porch window to record movement in the driveway. It shows Butt moving his truck and going out again in the night to put something in the back seat of the truck. It also captured his dauther Quinn’s voice hours before her death.
They have asked to listen again to the audio of Butt’s own testimony in court.
After the jury finishes listening to the evidence again, it will return to the jury room to continue deliberations.
The Telegram is in the courtroom at Newfoundland Supreme Court in St. John’s and will have more when the verdict is revealed, which will happen once all lawyers and family members are present.