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WIENS TRIAL: Spatter stains at crime scene point to prior blood letting

Family and relatives of victim Lynn Kalmring return to Kelowna after a three-week adjourment in the trial of Keith Gregory Wiens.
July 08, 2013 - 7:40 PM

Not all the blood stains found on Lynn Kalmring's body came from the gunshot wound that took her life. Swipes of blood found beneath spatter from the gunshot suggest another incident took place while Kalmring was still alive.

Forensic anthropologist Sgt. Diane Cockle identified various blood stain patterns in a slideshow presented to jury members today in the trial for Keith Gregory Wiens, charged with second degree murder in the shooting death of his common-law partner Lynn Kalmring. Cockle pointed out the predictable spatter and pooling of blood caused by the shooting itself and from the impact of victim's body falling to the ground.

Based on her analysis of photos from the crime scene and autopsy, Cockle said Kalmring's body was handled or moved after she was shot. Two swipe patterns indicate the victim's heels and calves moved through blood.

“It's my opinion the legs were in one location and now they're in another,” Cockle said.

Cockle also noted blood swipes on the victim's inner thighs beneath the spatter and blood flow from the gunshot. The swipes “had to have occurred before the gunshot,” she told the jury.

On the inside of the victim's nightie was another set of blood stains, inconsistent with the ballistic impact of the gunshot. These markings were found all the way down the inside surface of the nightie and tested positive as Kalmring's blood.

“This suggests to me there was a prior blood letting event,” Cockle said.

Irregular shaped blood stains were also found on the victim's chest area, implying they were transferred through contact.

Stains on multiple surfaces of the victim's hands, between the fingers and underneath the fingernails further indicate a prior incident “when the victim was still alive and able to move,” Cockle said.

If the victim was in fact holding a knife at the time of her death, some of those stains wouldn't be there, Cockle says. Nor were the blood stains on the knife consistent with those in the palm of the  victim's hand.

“The knife couldn't have been in the hand when the blood stains were deposited,” Cockle said.

The theory the victim couldn't be holding a knife when shot was also shared by forensic pathologist William Currie who testified earlier today. Based on his knowledge of postmortem skin discolouration and trauma to the brain, he argues the knife would have dropped from the victim's hand.

In his opening statement at the outset of the trial crown lawyer Colin Forsyth told the jury they would have to decide whether the knife found in Kalmring's hand was there when she was shot or placed there after the fact.

Jury members reconvened today after an unexpected adjournment three weeks ago. During that time members of the media were granted access to a handwritten letter addressed to Kalmring, found in the kitchen of her Penticton home. The letter reveals the couple was having a dispute over financial matters in the months leading up to the shooting.

Sgt. Cockle's testimony and cross-examination will continue when the trial resumes tomorrow.

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

News from © InfoTel News Ltd, 2013
InfoTel News Ltd

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