Kristin Johnston had injuries to neck, hands, Halifax murder trial told
Nicholas Butcher arrives at provincial court in Halifax on Tuesday, April 12, 2016. (THE CANADIAN PRESS/Andrew Vaughan)
The Canadian Press
Published Monday, April 16, 2018 6:32AM EDT
Last Updated Monday, April 16, 2018 5:37PM EDT
HALIFAX -- A Halifax jury heard Kristin Johnston suffered more than a dozen injuries, including 10 wounds to her neck as well as damage to her hands.
Detective-Constable Michael Barkhouse took the stand at the second-degree murder trial of Nicholas Butcher on Monday, and identified a number of injuries on Johnston's body, most of them on her neck.
She also had multiple wounds on her hands and fingers.
The trial has heard that police found the body of the Montreal-born yoga instructor inside the master bedroom of her Halifax-area home on a blood-soaked bed next to a steak knife on March 26, 2016.
Police said they went to the scene after a frantic Butcher called 911 and told them he had killed his girlfriend and had cut off his hand.
Crown attorney Tanya Carter gave Barkhouse several pictures and asked him to identify jewelry and clothing worn by Johnston when she was found dead.
Those items included a belly ring, necklace, bracelets, an eyebrow ring, a pair of yoga pants and a top.
"There's a top that is fairly saturated in blood," testified Barkhouse, of Halifax Regional Police.
Ottawa-based RCMP forensic toxicologist Christopher Keddy testified that alcohol was the only drug found in Johnston's system at the time of her death.
Keddy said the 32-year-old woman's blood-alcohol level was about double the legal limit for driving.
He said someone with that level of intoxication could have impaired judgment and a decreased ability to assess risk, but may not be showing outward signs of impairment.
Also Monday, Det. Const. Randy Wood told the 14-member Nova Scotia Supreme Court jury that an Apple computer and cell phone were seized from the Purcells Cove house.
He also said police wanted to test if the mitre saw -- which was found in the master bedroom next to a severed hand -- to see if it worked, and they confirmed it did.
The jury has heard that the businesswoman had just shut down her yoga studio and was ending her relationship with Butcher.
The Crown has said the medical examiner will testify that her death was caused by sharp force.
The 36-year-old Butcher, an unemployed law school graduate, has pleaded not guilty.