POLITICS

Case of woman killed eight years ago put over again for third time

09/30/2014 09:40 EDT | Updated 11/30/2014 05:59 EST
WINNIPEG - A man accused of killing a Manitoba woman eight years ago has failed again in his ongoing attempts to plead guilty to the crime.

Traigo Andretti stood in front of a judge at the Winnipeg law courts again Tuesday, asking if he could plead guilty to the second-degree murder of Myrna Letandre for the third time and for a third time, a judge said no.

Andretti is already serving a life sentence for killing and dismembering his wife in British Columbia.

He was brought before a judge in June to face the charge in the death of Letandre and tried for the first time to plead guilty, but the judge gave him a month to reconsider his decision not to hire a lawyer.

Andretti refused to meet with a lawyer several times and in July told Judge Tim Preston he understood the case against him and wanted to plead guilty, but was told the matter needed to be heard in a different court.

On Tuesday, the judge this time ruled the matter will have to be moved to Court of Queen's Bench.

Andretti, 38, was charged in Letandre's murder while in prison in B.C.

Letandre, who was 37 and originally from Pinaymootang First Nation, was reported missing by her sister in 2006. Her remains weren't found in a Winnipeg rooming house until May 2013.

Police alleged she was in a relationship with Andretti, also known as Dylan Harold Grubb, before she vanished.

Her relatives have said they tried to tell police about Andretti at the time of her disappearance and police have said he was questioned but let go.

Andretti was given a mandatory life sentence with no chance of parole for at least 25 years in April after admitting to the first-degree murder of his wife, Jennifer McPherson, who was also a longtime Winnipeg resident.

Police discovered the scattered remains of McPherson on a remote island near Alert Bay, off the east coast of Vancouver Island, last spring. The couple had been living there as caretakers of a remote fishing resort called the Pacific Outback Resort.

Andretti was arrested following an investigation by Project Devote, a unit made up of RCMP and Winnipeg police officers. Police said they worked with Vancouver's homicide unit, but waited for them to complete their investigation before bringing their own charges.

(CJOB, The Canadian Press)