Police planned to reach out to victim in murder trial
An Ottawa police officer testified in court Thursday that Donna Jones died one day before the officer could meet with her concerning allegations of spousal abuse.
Mark Hutt is on trial for first-degree murder in the 2009 death of his wife Donna Jones. The Crown alleges Hutt scalded Jones with boiling water at her home in December 2009. She died 11 days later after getting burned when an infection set in.
Cathy Wood, a detective from the partner assault unit, said in court Thursday that Jones's work colleagues at the Canadian Food Inspection Agency suspected Mark Hutt was abusing her and that she was covering up for Hutt.
In the week before she died, Jones was off work, saying her husband had the flu. Her colleagues called police, Wood said.
Wood testified she spoke with two of Jones's colleagues but she chose not to go to Jones's house.
She said she chose not to visit Jones at home partly because she knew that Jones was determined to cover up for her abuser and she had no legal basis for a warrant.
Meeting with police was to happen at work
But the main reason was because she didn't want to tip off her abuser that there was a police investigation underway, said Wood.
Wood testified that the danger for an abuse victim is greatest when the abuser becomes aware that the victim may leave. She said her experience taught her it would be safest to wait until Jones returned to work on Monday, and then talk to her confidentially.
Jones died on Sunday, the day before the scheduled meeting.
The trial continues.