File photo Jillian McKinty who died in November 2013. Logan Scott, a Salmon Arm man, is charged with manslaughter in her death. -

Pathologist contradicts strangulation story

Accused’s explanation behind death of Armstrong woman challenged

Editor’s note: The following article contains some graphic details from court testimony.

A forensic pathologist questioned Logan Scott’s version of how an Armstrong woman died from asphyxiation during court testimony Wednesday.

Sauvageau’s testimony is currently part of a voir dire, which is a trial within a trial to determine if the evidence will be considered admissible. The judge in the case is expected to make a ruling on this voir dire evidence during the trial’s continuation tomorrow (Thursday, June 29).

The Salmon Arm man is on trial for manslaughter in the death of Jillian McKinty, 27, whose body was found in her residence by her two young children in November 2013. Scott was arrested nine months later.

Annie Sauvageau told a Vernon court that the explanation given by Scott to police about what happened to Jillian McKinty after she and Scott had sex is not possible.

Sauvageau said if someone is asphyxiated, they do not lie passively for several minutes, as Scott told police, before he discovered an article of clothing around her neck may be impairing her ability to breathe.

Sauvageau described a series of events that occurs when someone is asphyxiated, none of which Scott said took place.

The pathologist was giving her analysis in the trial as to both to the autopsy done on McKinty, along with the explanation that Scott provided on video when he was interrogated by two police officers.

Scott told police that he and McKinty were having sex, with her on the top and he on his back. During that, he said McKinty wrapped the arms of a blouse around her neck.

Following this, Scott said McKinty fell backwards off him and both lay on the bed in the dark, neither saying anything for several minutes.

Scott said when he sat up to talk with McKinty, he noticed the clothing still around her neck. He said she was still clenching both sleeves with her hands, her face was discoloured and her lips were noticeably puffy.

Testifying for the Crown, Sauvageau testified that explanation is not physically possible.

She said in a ligature strangulation, after 10 seconds a person would lose consciousness, after 14 seconds the body would start to convulse, after 19 seconds the legs and arms would go rigid, and, after one minute, a violent reaction involving the arms would occur as the body struggles to get oxygen.

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

And after losing consciousness, she added, McKinty would have been unable to still clutch the clothing around her neck, as Scott had described.

“She would have lost a grip on the shirt,” Sauvageau testified.

The B.C. Supreme Court trial continues in Vernon and is expected to wrap up by the end of this week.

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