DNA taken from swab of deceased matched profile of accused: forensic scientist
Elizabeth Lafantaisie was found dead in the trunk of her 2006 Pontiac Grand Prix on Feb. 24, 2011. (Photo courtesy of Janine Gosselin)
Josh Crabb, CTV Winnipeg
Published Wednesday, February 10, 2016 11:26AM CST
Last Updated Wednesday, February 10, 2016 9:02PM CST
Day three of the Thomas Brine murder trial continued Wednesday in a Winnipeg courtroom.
Brine has pleaded not guilty to first-degree murder in the 2011 death of 73-year-old Elizabeth Lafantaisie.
The Crown called on forensic scientist Dr. Gregory Litzenberger, who works at the RCMP Forensic Lab in Edmonton, to speak about DNA analysis in the case.
Litzenberger testified that DNA taken from Elizabeth Lafantaisie, matched the profile of the accused.
"The male profile...I had determined... was found to match the DNA profile from the accused," said Litzenberger.
Crown plays videotaped interview of detectives questioning Brine
The Crown played a videotaped interview between two Winnipeg Police Service homicide investigators and Thomas Brine after he was arrested on Feb. 28, 2011.
Jurors heard one investigator ask Brine, “Were you aware of this murder?"
Brine responded “no.”
Jurors also heard Brine tell detectives he would get high on cocaine and break into cars along Pembina Highway. He specified parkades at the Summerland apartment block on University Crescent and a parkade on Adamar Road.
"I sneak down there and just go through cars," Brine told investigators. "I'm usually messed up when I do that s--t."
At one point during the interview, he tells investigators he found a shopping bag in a parkade on University Crescent.
Brine also tells investigators he stole a blueish car from a parkade on Adamar Road, which had keys left inside.
"It was a nice car," he said.
Brine told investigators he took the car for a drive on Pembina Highway and Osborne Street before abandoning the vehicle in Osborne Village.
"I just drove it...I didn't want it to break down...it was f-----g cold,” Brine told investigators. "I drive, smoked some crack, tripped out, park it and leave."
‘It was senseless’: family
Five years after her death, Lafantaisie’s family members said they’re glad the trial has started.
“We were unlucky to lose our mother for this and it was senseless,” said Anna Maynard.
Another one of Lafantaisie’s daughters, Lise Gosselin, said it has been overwhelming to hear the details of her mother’s death.
"She was at a bad place,” said Gosselin on Wednesday. “Wrong place, wrong time...we just feel for her so much."