Graphic autopsy details on second day of Brine murder trial
Josh Crabb, CTV Winnipeg
Published Tuesday, February 9, 2016 3:19PM CST
Last Updated Tuesday, February 9, 2016 7:33PM CST
WARNING: Article contains graphic content
Day two of the murder trial for a man accused of killing a 73-year-old woman continued Tuesday in a Winnipeg courtroom.
Elizabeth Lafantaisie was found dead in the trunk of her 2006 Pontiac Grand Prix on Feb. 24, 2011.
Thomas Brine has pleaded not guilty to first-degree murder in Lafantaisie’s death.
The Crown told court on Monday it would produce evidence to show Lafantaisie was strangled and sexually assaulted by a stranger in a parkade in the south end of the city.
Court heard some of Lafantaisie’s belongings were found in a parkade on University Crescent.
Defence cross-examines exhibits officer
Defence lawyer Bruce Bonney began the second day of the trial by cross-examining an exhibits officer from the Winnipeg Police Service about his note-taking during the autopsy of Lafantaisie’s body.
Bonney also asked the officer why cigarette butts found in the parkade weren’t sent to a lab for DNA analysis.
Bonney told court the butts found were the same brand of cigarette found at a residence of an alternate person of interest in the case.
“Connecting this suspect to the parkade could give police other leads,” Bonney told court.
The officer said he was asked to seize the butts, but couldn’t comment on why they weren’t sent for DNA analysis.
The officer said that question would have to be answered by someone from the homicide unit.
Pathologist takes the stand
Manitoba’s chief medical examiner also took the stand on Tuesday.
Pathologist Dr. Thambirajah Balachandra was called to testify about the autopsy on Lafantaisie’s body.
Dr. Balachandra told court Lafantaisie had a black scarf around her neck and that she died of strangulation.
Balachandra said there were signs of bruising and lines of contusion around her neck.
“The ones on the neck are due to strangulation from the scarf or ligature,” Balachandra told court.
He said there was also evidence of bruising on the face due to “blunt force trauma.”
“Either the deceased was punched or the deceased was jammed against a blunt object,” Balachandra told court. “Great force was used in this case.”
Balachandra also told court Lafantaisie had a broken fibula (leg bone) and several lacerations.
He said the autopsy showed “there was sexual intercourse that happened” before Lafantaisie’s death.
The jury trial is scheduled to last for three weeks.