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KOOPMANS TRIAL: Expert testifies about blood on suspect's jeans at double murder trial in B.C.

John Koopmans is led away by Penticton court house sheriffs following a day in court. Koopmans trial continued today with testimony from Bradley Martin.
March 13, 2015 - 9:13 AM

PENTICTON - Blood spatter stains found on a man's jeans were consistent with what is produced when a bullet enters a human body, an expert has testified at a double murder trial.

John Koopmans, 51, is accused of killing two people and injuring a third at a home near Princeton on March 30, 2013.

Koopmans was arrested the next day in a camper just metres from where two men and a woman were gunned down — Robert Keith Wharton, 43, Rosemary Fox, 32, and 50-year-old Bradley Martin.

Koopmans is charged with the first-degree murders of Wharton and Fox, and the attempted murder of Martin.

RCMP Sgt. Diane Cockle, a blood stain pattern analyst, testified that her inspection of Koopmans' light-blue jeans revealed what appeared to be a multitude of blood spatter stains on the upper-right thigh.

She said such stains are typically round if they hit a surface straight on but there "has to be energy involved in creating them."

"In terms of the force used to create the dispersal of blood into spatter … how would you describe the force from a large-calibre handgun?" Crown lawyer Frank Dubenski asked.

"That's a high-level force so I would expect to see high-level, high-energy spatter stains," she said, noting the droplets would likely range in size from a fraction of a millimetre to several millimetres in diameter.

The trial has already heard that the spatter stains on Koopmans' jeans ranged from one to two millimetres in diameter.

Cockle said blood stains were also found on the lower portion of Koopmans' black leather jacket, but she was unable to conduct an analysis.

"Because of the leather being almost a non-absorbent material — it was quite shiny — some of the stains had dried, so the blood stains had sort of been altered because of the aging process."

The trial before a jury is expected to hear later from a DNA expert who compared the blood on Koopmans' jeans to samples taken from shooting victims.

News from © The Canadian Press, 2015
The Canadian Press

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