Blood, hair found in numerous places throughout house where Crowe died
An RCMP forensic identification specialist took a total of 38 samples of suspected DNA from the scene of 27-year-old Justin Crowe’s stabbing death, a Regina jury heard on Monday.
During his testimony at the second-degree murder trial for 23-year-old [the Accused], Cpl. Tommy Thifault detailed evidence he photographed and collected at a house on the Piapot First Nation in October 2015.
Photographs reveal a largely overturned and shattered living room and a kitchen soaked and spattered with suspected blood. Thifault spoke to various locations in those two rooms, as well as outside the house and on Crowe’s body, where samples were taken for potential DNA testing.
But in answer to a question from [the Accused]’s codefence counsel, Ian McKay, Thifault said he didn’t take swabs of every single drop of suspected blood he saw.
“I would have spent about a month looking at everything that was within that residence,” he said.
Photographs show the largest amount of apparent blood indoors in the kitchen, including on the floor, fridge, small appliances and the back of a chair. Suspected blood was also found on furniture in the living room, including beneath a clump of hair on a sofa.
Thifault testified about other hair located and seized during the investigation, including a number of strands found on Crowe’s torso and clutched in one of his hands.
Thifault also identified two knives seized at the scene, one found in the living room and the other in the backyard, not far from where Crowe’s body was found by RCMP officers on the morning of Oct. 27, 2015. He said he took swabs for possible DNA from both the handles and the blades of the knives, noting the one seized from the backyard had reddish stains on both the handle and the blade.
The identification officer was unable to speak to certain details, such as which of the evidence he seized was finally sent to the lab for testing. He said the lab would have made the ultimate decision on what items to test, and that neither the decision on testing nor the ultimate outcome was communicated to him.
Earlier on Monday, a juror was discharged for reasons not provided to the remaining 11 jurors, although Justice Jeff Kalmakoff assured them there had been no improper conduct on the part of the juror in question.
Kalmakoff added an apology to jurors who had expected the case to run approximately 11⁄2 weeks. The trial is now expected to run into a third week.
Written by: Heather Polischuk
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