Accused in murder trial called 'controlling and obsessive'

A man on trial for first-degree murder in the death of his wife was controlling and obsessive about his spouse, according to a childhood friend of the victim testifying Friday.
Two of Donna Jones' best friends gave the jury insight into the couple's "toxic" relationship. 2:47

A childhood friend of a woman found dead in her own home in December 2009 has testified in an Ottawa court that the victim's husband was "controlling and obsessive."

Mark Hutt, 36, has pleaded not guilty to a charge of first-degree murder in the death of his wife, Donna Jones.

Donna Jones and Mark Hutt married in 2007. (submitted)

Krista Moulds testified Friday that she had been friends with Jones since they were 12 years old, but that she completely lost contact with the victim one month after Jones's 2007 wedding to Hutt.

Crown prosecutor Meaghan Cunningham alleged Hutt scalded his wife with boiling water and then left her to die. Cunningham said that after Hutt burned Jones, her wounds became infected and she descended into septic shock and died 11 days later.

Hutt initially told police that his wife fell into a fire pit at a work gathering. He told police that she didn't want to go to the hospital.

Heartbroken over breakup

Moulds testified that Hutt followed Jones around and insisted on knowing who she spoke to. Moulds also said Hutt did not have friends other than his wife.

She said that when Jones first met Hutt she was still heartbroken over a recent breakup.

Moulds said Jones had confided in her that Hutt had a rough upbringing and that he had threatened to commit suicide if she ever left him.

Donna Jones insisted on marrying Hutt, even after her friends raised concerns.

When Moulds confronted her friend twice about bruises in the shape of handprints on her arm, her friend told her it was because she fell off of Hutt's ATV and that his dog jumped on her.

Moulds was supposed to be Jones's maid of honour and recounted to the court, in tears, the day that they went shopping for a wedding dress together.

"I had no joy. Seeing her in an unhealthy relationship, I didn't want her to marry that man.  I was fearful for her," said Moulds.

After Jones purchased the dress, Moulds said her friend called Hutt, excited to tell him how proud she was that she found a beautiful gown and tiara for just $500. Moulds said Hutt just wanted to know if she had done the laundry.

Mike Paquette, another childhood friend of Jones, told the court that their group of friends tried to befriend Hutt, but he never seemed interested in getting to know them.

Donna Jones with friends.

"I can't remember a single time he smiled or joked with the group. I never heard Donna say good things (about Hutt), like he's so awesome or romantic," said Paquette.

Both Moulds and Paquette refused to attend Jones's wedding in September 2007 and she stopped talking to them shortly after that.

Hutt's immediate family, his mother and step-brother, have not been to the courthouse during this case yet.

Donna Jones's mother sat two aisles behind Hutt and wept during testimony on Friday.