FORT ST. JOHN, B.C. – A Fort St. John man charged with second-degree murder in the death of Amanda Black has refused to attend court.

Shane Sutherland, was supposed to appear virtually in Fort St. John Supreme court Monday morning, but chose to stay in his cell, court heard.

Court proceeded in his absence, moving Sutherland’s next appearance to July 4th to set a date for a jury trial.

He was arrested in February 2021 after RCMP were called to the Village St. John town-home complex on 102 Avenue where Black was found deceased.

The charge of second-degree murder has yet to be proven in court, and Sutherland remains in custody.

Tom Summer, Alaska Highway News

Tom Summer is a Peace Region journalist and has been covering the courts and more in the pages of the Alaska Highway News and Dawson Creek Mirror since 2016. Born and raised in Hudson's Hope, he's also one of the first reporters to take part in the Local Journalism Initiative, delivering news to communities in Northeast BC. Funding is available to eligible Canadian media organizations to hire journalists or pay freelance journalists to produce civic journalism for The content produced...