The family of Brittany Baird, a young Nanaimo mother killed in 2011, was shocked to hear Friday that her accused killer had pleaded guilty in court.
The sudden guilty plea from Christopher James Robinson came as a surprise to those in the courtroom as well. Robinson and his co-accused, Marcus Brandon Parry, were in court to elect between a trial by jury or judge alone.
Robinson’s admission of guilt also led to charges being stayed against Parry.
According to Baird’s father, Ron, the family had been working up the courage to deal with the two men’s impending trial and were stunned to hear the news from a taxi driver that one of the accused had pleaded guilty.
“We didn’t even know he was down there,” said Ron.
Baird’s mother, Shirley, declined to comment and the family has limited their comments over the years for fear of interfering with the justice process. They continued to do so after news of the plea broke.
When Baird was killed in May 2011, she left behind an infant son who is now under the care of his grandparents, who have toys strewn about their Harewood home. Now three years old, the young child has begun asking his caretakers where his mother is.
“He’s really been missing her,” said Ron.
Baird was 22 years old when she was found dead at the southwest corner of Nob Hill Park, off Selby Street in Nanaimo. Robinson and Parry were arrested three days later.
The judicial process has been a roller coaster of emotion for the family and Ron said he and his wife had been working up the nerve to possibly attend the trial, which may have been days away had Robinson not pleaded guilty. The court is expected to reconvene on the matter in March.
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