Friends and family of Nadine Taylor gasped and sobbed as the man accused of murdering the Halifax woman entered a Dartmouth court Thursday morning.
Steven Elliot Laffin walked into the courtroom quietly, sitting down before looking up blankly at Taylor’s friends and family. Laffin looked back down at his laceless black shoes as Taylor’s friends muttered “monster” and “he’s nothing.” One made a throat-cutting gesture.
Sheriffs surrounded Laffin, 36, throughout his brief appearance and warned Taylor’s friends to be quiet. Laffin spoke only once, saying “Yes, sir,” to the judge when asked about a procedural matter.
Laffin is charged with the second-degree murder of Taylor. The 29-year-old sex worker was reported missing July 31 and police have said they believe she is dead, though her body has not been found.
“He was arraigned on the charges and a date was set for him to return in January,” said lawyer Peter Planetta, who represented Laffin.
Laffin has applied for legal aid and Planetta said that lawyer will then help Laffin prepare for his trial. “They’ll need a significant amount of time to get that full disclosure and review it with him,” he said.
Crown attorney Susan MacKay said prosecuting a murder case without a body was unusual, but not unheard of. “As with any murder case, we’ll have to prove there was a death,” she said.