Mother pleads not guilty to daughter's murder

Tamara Olita Butler pleaded not guilty in Grand Court on Friday to the charge of murdering her daughter, 6-year-old Bethany Gabrielle Butler, on or about Oct. 27, 2014.

Deputy Director of Public Prosecutions Patrick Moran told Justice Malcolm Swift that the Crown had received the report of a medical expert retained by defense counsel Laurence Aiolfi. He said the Crown did not accept the report as it related to a defense to the charge. The Crown is therefore instructing another expert, he said.

Justice Swift asked what the issue was.

“Diminished responsibility,” Mr. Moran replied.

The judge ordered that the Crown serve its expert report on Mr. Aiolfi by Oct. 9 so that there could be a plea and directions hearing on Oct. 16.

Trial was set for Feb. 8, 2016.

The defendant, 37, has been in custody since her arrest a few hours after Bethany’s body was found with multiple stab wounds in a car parked in the bush along the Queen’s Highway in East End.