TRURO - A 24-year-old former Truro woman charged with second-degree murder in the death of Ben Hare made a brief appearance in provincial court Thursday.
Barbara Elizabeth Marshall, who now resides in Halifax, was arraigned on the murder charge the day after her boyfriend, 24-year-old Dustan Preeper, was arraigned on the same charge.
Nova Scotia Legal Aid lawyer David Mahoney appeared on behalf of Marshall during her appearance and requested an adjournment for a week.
"She needs time to apply for a certificate (to obtain another lawyer)," said Mahoney, who only represented Marshall for yesterday's court appearance.
Marshall was arrested Wednesday morning outside the back of the courthouse on Prince Street without incident and held in custody overnight.
Hare, a 26-year-old Truro resident, died outside a multi-unit apartment building at 67 Lyman Street in Truro on July 8, 2010 following a brawl.
Preeper was originally charged with second-degree murder in the case, however, the charge was dropped in September of that year.
Truro Police Chief Dave MacNeil said hours after Marshall's arrest that "she was a suspect in the Hare murder from the get-go."
Appearing in court around noon yesterday, Marshall was wearing jeans, blue slip-on shoes, a colorful top with a red overcoat. Her brown hair was pulled in a ponytail. A woman, believed to be her mother, mimed "I love you" when she sat down.
Marshall didn't say anything to address the court. She did respond to the woman with "I love you, too" after the woman said "I love you, baby."
Outside the courthouse, a man and woman stood with media while waiting for Marshall to be escorted to a van before being transported to the correctional facility in Burnside.
The man, who identified himself as Peter Digout, said he "practically raised Barbie."
"She was in our home for about 10 years, her and her two sisters," the Lower Onslow man said.
"I wanted to see what type of mental shape she's in."
Digout said he wasn’t there to defend Marshall, who he said has fetal alcohol (syndrome), but to make sure she gets proper legal representation.
“It’s shocking and disappointing,” he said of the charges. “My wife is very upset.”
Marshall was around 18 or 19 when she left the Digout’s home, just after she finished school.
“She got an apartment and a job … that’s what she was supposed to do,” said Digout.
He said the last time he saw Marshall was about two years ago and he believes she has a daughter, around the age of one, with Preeper.
Preeper, originally from the Noel area, was arraigned on the second-degree murder charge Wednesday afternoon, as well as first-degree murder with his brother, Joshua Preeper, 20, in the death of Melissa Peacock, a 20-year-old from Dartmouth who was reported missing on Nov. 9, 2011. She was last seen two days before that.
The two brothers are charged with Peacock’s murder on Nov. 8 in Upper Rawdon. It’s believed human remains found on a rural property in Upper Stewiacke on Tuesday are Peacock’s. An autopsy is being performed to confirm the identity.
Marshall is scheduled to appear in provincial court on July 12 at 9:30 a.m.
Dustan Preeper is scheduled to appear on Sept. 7 at 9:30 a.m., while Joshua Preeper is scheduled to appear Aug. 1 at 9:30 a.m.