Dartmouth man charged with murdering his girlfriend Tara Lynn Park

By Haley Ryan - Metro Halifax

Published on June 5, 2013
Christopher Hutchinson, sporting a spit guard, is escorted into Dartmouth provincial court on Tuesday by sheriffs.
Metro Halifax

DARTMOUTH - The Dartmouth man facing a second-degree murder charge in the death of his girlfriend will remain in custody for another two weeks so he can obtain legal advice.

Christopher Kenneth Hutchinson arrived at Dartmouth provincial court Tuesday afternoon in the back of a police van and stepped down into the sunny parking lot with hands cuffed behind his back. He was wearing a light-green spit guard around his face.

Hutchinson, 28, made a brief appearance in court, standing quietly in a black tee shirt as Judge Flora Buchan set his next court date.

He is thin, with light brown hair, tattoos on his arms and is about five-foot-eight.

Defence lawyer Pat Atherton asked the judge for two weeks so Hutchinson could look over “paper work” and obtain legal counsel.

Hutchinson was arrested on Monday and charged with the second-degree murder of Tara Lynn Park on Tuesday.

Park was found in a stairwell of the apartment at 117 Albro Lake Rd. after police responded to reports of a commotion in the building.

An autopsy determined she was stabbed to death, and police say Hutchinson became a person of interest early on.

“I can’t go into detail to what information we received, but throughout the investigation he became a person of interest in this case.” Bourdages said.

Bourdages said Park and Hutchinson were boyfriend and girlfriend, referring to the murder as a domestic dispute.

Hutchinson is next set to appear in court June 18 to set dates for a preliminary inquiry.

He has been remanded to the Burnside jail, and Hutchinson will have to apply through the Nova Scotia Supreme Court if he wants bail.

Accused turns ‘violent’ during questioning

Police also allege that during questioning Monday, Hutchinson attacked police officers and damaged equipment in the interview room.

“While he was being questioned Mr. Hutchinson became violent,” said Halifax Regional Police spokesman Const. Pierre Bourdages. “He punched the interviewing officer in the face, and as we were attempting to gain control of him, he grabbed the chair he was sitting on and threw that chair at the other officer who came into the room.”

None of the officers were injured.

Bourdages said Hutchinson wasn’t handcuffed during the interview. He said police don’t handcuff suspects when being questioned unless “they’re aggressive and display violence.”

“In this case, that was not the fact. He became violent during the interview,” Bourdages said.

Hutchinson has been charged with assaulting a police officer with a weapon and with property damage.