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Cole Harbour man to stand trial next May on charge of murdering girlfriend


Owen Patrick Nelson, 43, of Cole Harbour is charged with second-degree murder and interfering with the remains of his girlfriend Karen Lee MacKenzie. MacKenzie was reported missing March 3, 2018. Her boyfriend told police she had not been seen nor heard from since Feb. 25. - Contributed/Herald composite
Owen Patrick Nelson is charged with second-degree murder and interfering with the remains of his girlfriend, Karen Lee MacKenzie, who disappeared in February 2018. - Contributed/Herald composite

A Cole Harbour man will go to trial next May on charges of second-degree murder and interfering with the remains of his girlfriend, who disappeared in February 2018.

Owen Patrick Nelson, 43, appeared in Nova Scotia Supreme Court in Halifax on Thursday with lawyer Michelle James.

Justice Ann Smith scheduled Nelson’s jury trial for 20 days beginning May 6, 2020.

Police allege Nelson killed Karen Lee MacKenzie, 40, on Feb. 25, 2018, in Dartmouth.

The Dartmouth woman’s body has not been recovered, despite searches of locations in Halifax, Hants and Lunenburg counties.

Nelson contacted police March 3, 2018, to report MacKenzie missing. He told police he had not seen her or heard from her since Feb. 25.

Nelson was arrested March 13, 2018, in Dartmouth and charged with interfering with MacKenzie’s remains, public mischief, assault and three counts of breach of probation in relation to the disappearance.

He pleaded not guilty to the original charges last June and was free on bail awaiting trial until was arrested again this April and charged with murder.

The Crown filed a preferred indictment last month to send the matter directly to trial without a preliminary inquiry.

Earlier this week, Nelson was released on a $10,000 recognizance with the Crown’s consent and placed on house arrest at his father’s residence in Cole Harbour.

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