Crown closes case in Mark Hutt murder trial

The Crown closed its case and the defence elected not to call evidence in the trial of Mark Hutt after a forensic pathologist told the court his wife, Donna Jones, had extensive burns and injuries including 29 air gun pellets embedded in her body.

Warning: The following story contains graphic information some readers may find disturbing

Closing arguments will be heard Wednesday in the murder trial of Mark Hutt. 2:43

Closing arguments are set for Wednesday after the Crown closed its case and the defence chose not to call evidence in the first-degree murder trial of Mark Hutt.

Hutt has pleaded not guilty to the accusation his actions led to the death of his wife, Donna Jones, in December 2009.

On Friday, a forensic pathologist detailed the injuries suffered by Jones, which he found during the autopsy.

Dr. Christopher Milroy told the court Jones had extensive burns and injuries, including nine fractured ribs and 29 air gun pellets embedded in her body.

This air rifle was believed to be used to shoot Donna Jones with up to 29 pellets, which were found lodged in her skin during the autopsy.

Milroy also said Jones died in December 2009 of septic shock after infected burns caused her circulation to stop and her organs to fail.

Crown attorneys questioned Milroy on the other extensive injuries discovered during the autopsy.

Jones refused to go to hospital, Hutt told police

Hutt called 911 at 9:15 a.m. on Dec. 6, 2009 to say his wife had stopped breathing and he feared she had died.

He told police in an interview previously shown in court he had accidentally burned his wife 11 days earlier with a pot of boiling water and had tried to treat her at home after she refused to go to the hospital.

But Milroy said, while there were bandages on Jones's right and left fingers and left forearm, the majority of the burns were undressed, including her back, where the deepest burns were. About 40 per cent of Jones's body was burned.

Hutt also told police he and his wife had just been talking about Christmas gifts at about 6 a.m. on Dec. 6, three hours before he made the 911 call.

Jones died 9 hours before alleged conversation

"That's impossible," said Milroy, who put Jones's time of death at about 12 hours before the call.

Jones's body had a number of other injuries including seven calloused ribs, which suggested an earlier fracture likely caused by kicks, as well as two recent rib fractures, said Milroy.

Jones also had a broken left finger, fractured right wrist and a forearm injury that suggested a "blow across the arm," he said.

Milroy said he also found 29 air gun pellets in Jones's body, with most embedded about one centimetre into her body.

Air gun pellets suggest close range shots

The gun must be fired from the short distance of a few feet for pellets from an air gun to penetrate skin, said Milroy.

Milroy said some pellets were in Jones's body for quite some time and he said Jones showed signs of lead poisoning.

At least two of the pellets were "likely" fired at Jones after she was scalded, said Milroy.

On Thursday the forensic officer — acting Sgt. Stephen Jones — said police found a BB pellet gun in the powder room on the main floor of the home, as well as a high-powered pellet rifle in a suitcase.

The weapon was a high speed "Savage" brand pellet rifle with a scope.  Sgt. Jones said forensic tests showed that it was in the "firing" position and it could fire with enough power to injure and kill.