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Judge denies bail for accused in murder trial

Bail has been denied for the woman accused of first-degree murder in the killing of Jennifer Horne.

Bail has been denied for the woman accused of first-degree murder in the killing of Jennifer Horne.

Ashley Haley, 22, requested to be released from custody and placed under the province’s adult bail supervision program, pending her trial in June. At Nova Scotia Supreme Court in Halifax Thursday, Justice Arthur Leblanc denied that request.

No details of Leblanc’s decision or the case against Haley can be released from the hearing due to a publication ban.

Family and friends of Horne erupted into spontaneous applause when Leblanc issued his decision. Outside the courtroom, Horne’s step-uncle and family spokesman Steve Andrews said the family was pleased by the decision.

“We feel like we’ve made a big step in this long journey ... towards realizing justice for Jennifer,” he said to reporters. “We’re maintaining our faith in the system ... justice will be served one day.”

Andrews said it was difficult at times for the family to sit in court as Leblanc recounted details from the case for approximately an hour.

“I don’t know that any of us were prepared for that the judge’s decision would take almost an hour to read,” he said. “It was very upsetting ... I’m sure when you saw people coming out of here, you wouldn’t know that bail had been denied, maybe ... it was not easy to listen to everything the judge had to say in there.”

Haley and her common-law partner Desmond Maguire, 39, are each charged with one count of first-degree murder in the death of Horne, a 20-year-old Cole Harbour woman. On Dec. 31, 2007, Horne’s body was found in the couple’s Lawrence Street apartment rolled up in a piece of carpet and stuffed in a closet.

Haley and Maguire have been in jail since their arrest on Jan. 1, 2008. Their trial is scheduled to begin on June 7.

The Crown was opposed to Haley’s release. Haley is being remanded at the Burnside jail as she awaits trial.