Lengthy delay in trial a hardship on Redford family

Almost nine years after Margaret Redford's death, a trial date has yet to be set for the man accused of killing the Aldergrove woman.

It’s been nine years since Margaret Redford’s death.

She died in 2006. Her body was found in Bertrand Creek in Aldergrove on May 20 of that year.

In the years before her death, Redford had struggled with addiction, but the 47-year-old mother of two was “living peacefully” in Aldergrove at the time of her murder, her father said in November, 2011, as he was waiting for a preliminary hearing to begin.

Davey Mato Butorac, who is now 36, is charged with one count of second-degree murder in the death of Redford. He has yet to go to trial for that murder, although last week he was convicted (for the second time) in the 2007 death of Sheryll Korroll in Langley City.

The nine-year delay is partially due to the challenges police had in identifying Butorac as a suspect. He was first charged with the murders of Korroll, who was killed in July, 2007, and Gwendolyn Jo Lawton of Abbotsford, who died in March, 2007.

For some inexplicable reason, the Crown decided to lump both murder trials together, and Butorac was convicted on both counts in 2010. However, he successfully appealed his convictions to the B.C. Court of Appeal, on the basis that it wasn’t proper to put the two trials together.

His lawyer had made that argument before the trial began in 2010, but was unsuccessful. The Court of Appeal overturned the two murder convictions in October, 2013, and new trials were ordered.

The second trial in the Korroll case concluded with last week’s conviction by a jury.

Butorac was charged in connection with Redford’s death after his first convictions. The three cases are linked by DNA evidence, which proved crucial in police identifying Butorac as a suspect in the first place.

The Redford family deserves to have the certainty of a trial date. Her father Ed Redford told The Times in 2011 that he planned to attend every day of the preliminary hearing, mostly so his son and wife won’t have to.

“I just want to get it over with,” he said.

His daughter is survived by a young son and daughter, he said, noting at that time (more than three years ago) “my grandson still isn’t over it.”

At the time Redford was murdered, there was palpable fear in Aldergrove that a potential serial killer was on the loose. Butorac lived in Aldergrove at that time, in a townhouse owned by his father.

He has been in jail since first being charged with the two other murders, and remains there today. He has already spent about six years in jail.

The angst that Aldergrove residents felt in 2006 was only partially eased by reassurances from the police that the Redford killing seemed to be random.

The facts remain as follows:

Butorac has been convicted of the murder of one vulnerable woman, and is facing trials on charges of murdering two others.

He has no criminal record.

The families of all three victims have been waiting for the better part of a decade for justice.

No one can even begin to explain the motive behind these three murders.

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