Local lawyer's first-degree murder trial moved from Kamloops to Lower Mainland

Bagabuyo trial on the move

The trial of a Kamloops lawyer accused of murdering a Thompson Rivers University faculty member is being moved from the Tournament Capital to a courthouse in the Lower Mainland.

Butch Bagabuyo, 55, is charged with first-degree murder in the slaying last year of Mohd Abdullah.

Abdullah, a computer sciences professor at TRU who also taught yoga and pilates in the city, was reported missing on March 11, 2022. His body was found six days later inside a rental van parked on a cul de sac in Dufferin.

Bagabuyo was arrested on March 18, 2022, and charged with indignity to human remains. He was released on $10,000 bail a week later.

He was re-arrested in May of this year and charged with first-degree murder. The indignity charge was subsequently stayed.

Bagabuyo spent about three months in jail at Kamloops Regional Correctional Centre before he was again released on bail in July.

Bagabuyo’s jury trial, which is expected to run for two to three months sometime next year, will take place at a courthouse in either Vancouver or New Westminster.

A sweeping court-ordered ban prevents the publication of any other information relating to the allegations against Bagabuyo or the reason for the move.

Lawyers are scheduled to return to court on Dec. 20 to discuss a number of pre-trial issues, including where the trial will take place.

Bagabuyo remains free on bail.

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