'Not possible' Armstrong woman died of self-strangulation during sex, pathologist testifies

Logan Scott, of Salmon Arm, is charged with manslaughter in the 2013 death of Jillian McKinty.
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CONTENT ADVISORY

VERNON - Logan Scott’s story of what happened the night Armstrong woman Jillian McKinty died is not a possible scenario, according to a forensic pathologist who testified today in his Supreme Court manslaughter trial.

Dr. Anny Sauvageau, a former chief medical examiner in Alberta, picked apart a taped police interview in which Scott explains what happened between himself and McKinty the night of Nov. 26, 2013. She was found dead the next morning in her Armstrong home.  Sauvageau's testimony was given during a voir dire — a trial within a trial to determine if evidence is admissible. 

In the video, Scott tells police that McKinty wrapped a long sleeved shirt around her neck and pulled it tight while they were having sex. He said she fell onto her back when they were done, and after lying still in the dark for several minutes, he realized she had turned purple, her lips were puffy, and she was not responsive.

Yesterday, the pathologist who performed McKinty’s autopsy said she died of asphyxiation, although he found no signs of trauma.

Sauvageau, an expert in the field of asphyxiation, said someone who experiences ligature strangulation would lose consciousness after roughly 10 seconds. After about 14 seconds, they would start convulsing. At 19 seconds, their arms and legs would, by reflex, extend outward. Around the same time, the body would start trying to breathe by rocking the abdominal muscles. She said a person would then jerk violently before going still. 

In the police interview, Scott said McKinty was quiet while they were having sex, but Sauvageau said that would not have been the case.

“In a ligature strangulation, a person would not lie quietly,” she said.

She also said that McKinty would not have been able to keep holding onto the ends of the sweater after losing consciousness, so it was “not possible” for her to have been clenching the sleeves as Scott recounted.

“I have no doubt in my mind it is not possible,” Sauvageau said of Scott’s story.

Sauvageau was retained by the RCMP to complete a report into McKinty’s death using the autopsy report, police interview, and photos of the crime scene and McKinty’s body. Sauvageau said the crime scene photos and images of the victim’s body were not helpful in forming her opinion, and she relied on the autopsy findings and interrogation video.

The trial continues in Vernon Supreme Court and is expected to wrap up by the end of the week. He is being tried by judge alone.

— This story was updated at 6:37 a.m. June 29, 2017 to say Sauvageau's evidence was given during a voir dire. 


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