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WIENS TRIAL: Defence questions theory of prior blood letting

July 09, 2013 - 10:13 PM

Yesterday jury members in the trial for Keith Gregory Wiens heard of blood stains at the crime scene resulting from an event prior to the fatal shooting. Today however, the court heard another possibility the sudden death of victim Lynn Kalmring could have caused body movements responsible for the irregular blood stains.

Wiens, a former Mountie, is facing charges of second degree murder in the August 16, 2011 shooting death of his common-law partner Lynn Kalmring.

During his cross-examination of forensic anthropologist Diane Cockle, defence lawyer Ian McKay indicated a number of complications in her hypothesis of a prior blood letting. In her testimony yesterday Cockle described patterns of blood found beneath the gunshot spatter, which she believes came from a prior event, possibly while the victim was still alive.

Cockle was asked to define what she means by “prior blood letting,” to which she responded, “there are blood stains at the scene that can't be entirely explained by the ballistic gunshot.”

McKay noted the autopsy report provided by doctor Gilles Molgat did not report any separate wounds on the victim's body. McKay then suggested the blood swipes could have occurred from the shooting, during which blood might have leaked from the victim's mouth.

In sudden death situations he asked Cockle if the body's movement could be unpredictable or subject to spasms. The witness insisted the body would not make such movements after death.

While Cockle says certain blood swipes were made before the shooting, she could not say what put them there, whether it was fingers or fabric.

Cockle was also asked to clarify how the blood patterns indicate the victims legs had been moved. McKay suggested if the feet were in fact moved, there would be more obvious blood traces on the floor and on the back of the victim's calf.

In addition to critiquing her crime scene analysis, McKay also questioned Cockle's professional history in blood stain forensics. He noted Cockle was only certified to give expert testimony a few months prior to submitting her May 2011 report on the investigation, and in that report the hypothesis of a prior blood letting was not included in the key findings.

Cross-examination will continue tomorrow before the defence calls its own witnesses to the stand.

To contact the reporter for this story, email Julie Whittet at or call (250)718-0428.

News from © InfoTel News Ltd, 2013
InfoTel News Ltd

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