July 17, 2013 - 7:05 AM
KELOWNA - An expert blood spatter analyst testified Monday the evidence gathered from the fatal shooting of Lynn Kalmring doesn't support the theory of a knife being placed in the victim's hand after death. Private consultant Joseph Slemko said there were too many possibilities at play to draw such a conclusion.
Slemko was called to the stand by defence counsel for Keith Gregory Wiens, who is charged with second degree murder in the 2011 shooting death of his common-law partner, Lynn Kalmring.
Yesterday crown laywer Colin Forsyth questioned Slemko's professional practice in blood stain analysis. Slemko previously worked for the Edmonton RCMP until 1998 before starting his own firm, providing consultation for paying clients - largely defence lawyers.
He also revealed his career in private consulting has been a point of controversy with the RCMP.
"I'm not very popular in the law enforcement circle," he says, explaining he was forbidden by RCMP to provide private consulting. The last time he assisted the RCMP was in 2004.
Forsyth also noted despite his opinion there could have been many variables during the shooting Slemko's testimony details a scenario matching the defence's version of events,
Prior to giving his opinion, Slemko reviewed both crown's and accused's synopses of events on the night of August 16, 2011. The defence argues Kalmring came through the bedroom door of the master bedroom, approaching the accused with a knife raised to his chest. After the gunshot, Kalmring's body fell into a seated position during which the accused says he heard the victim exhale her last breath before collapsing backwards onto her head.
Forsyth argued Slemko couldn't have formulated his opinion independently since it outlines the same scenario provided by the accused.
"It fits the evidence," Slemko said, insisting his opinion is based solely on blood evidence.
Part of Slemko's analysis explains the large pool of blood saturating Kalmring's bathrobe on the bed was projected from the gunshot wound. But if this was the case and Kalmring's left hand was raised with the knife at the time, as the accused describes, Forsyth says the same projection of blood would have spattered the back of her hand.
Photos taken of the victim's body show no such spatter on the back of her hand and Slemko says he wouldn't necessarily expect to see such spatter.
While Slemko could not definitively refute the crown's theory or opinion of blood expert Sgt. Diane Cockle, but could only say those theories are complicated by processes of blood spurting from arteries, blood potentially coughed or sneezed out by the victim, and the unpredictable movements of Kalmring's body and nightgown in the time it took for her body to collapse to the ground.
Defence will call its last witness today before closing their case this week.
To contact the reporter for this story, email Julie Whittet at firstname.lastname@example.org or call (250)718-0428.
News from © InfoTel News Ltd, 2013