'I killed her': Trial begins for Regina man accused in wife's death

Jason Daniel McKay has pleaded not guilty to second-degree murder. He's accused of killing his wife, Jenny, in September 2017. The judge-alone trial began Monday at Regina's Court of Queen's Bench.

Jenny McKay, 33, died from stab wounds in September 2017

Jenny Leigh McKay, 33, died in September 2017. In her obituary, her family said, 'We remember her earthy voice, great big laugh, her beautiful smile, her huge heart, zest for life and her melancholy spirit.' (Submitted by Doug Campbell)

Warning: Story contains graphic content. 

Jason Daniel McKay's demeanour and appearance — allegedly emotionless and covered in blood — were unexpected by the police officer knocking at his door. 

McKay said his wife, Jenny, was upstairs and that he had killed her, according to testimony heard Monday at the Court of Queen's Bench. 

The 47-year-old pleaded not guilty on Monday to second-degree murder. Court heard Jenny died from "stab wounds to the neck which caused extensive bleeding" on either late on the evening of Sept. 5 or very early on Sept. 6, 2017. The 33-year-old Regina woman was originally from New Glasgow, N.S. 

Crown prosecutor Adam Breker called eight witnesses on the first day of the judge-alone trial at Regina's Court of Queen's Bench. 

During a voir dire — a trial within a trial — Const. Graham McDonald testified that he was called to do a welfare check at the McKay home. At first, he thought Jason McKay was hurt, as the file showed a history of suicide attempts. He testified McKay said "I killed her." 

McDonald arrested him and put him in the back of his patrol car. Recordings of the backseat show the man repeatedly uttering similar statements. He said "I killed her," "there's so much blood there it's not even funny," "she's dead, dead as a f—king door knob" and "I sat over that dead body for about two hours."

McDonald reminded McKay he didn't have to say anything, but the man continued. 

"I killed her. I f—king killed her. She's dead."

Because of the voir dire, some evidence presented during McDonald's testimony may not be admissible when Justice Michael Tochor considers the evidence. 

Const. Scott Ash arrived shortly after 3:36 a.m. and saw "blood everywhere, all over the floors." 

He noted Jenny's body was cold to touch, with a "kitchen or butcher knife still protruding from her chest" and a large laceration on her neck. 

She was found with two wedding rings in her pocket. 

Neighbours hear screaming 

Two people who lived on the same block at the time of death testified about what they heard that night. Britt Goddu said she went outside for a cigarette before bedtime. 

"I could hear very, very angry fighting," she said, noting the McKay home was the only one with lights on. The words were muffled, but she remember one woman's cry verbatim: "I f—king hate you. We're done, done, done." 

Goddu said she went inside and locked the door.

Denise Werner said her barking dogs woke her up and she "definitely heard a man's voice loud and clear — screaming." Werner is legally blind, but she said her husband said it was near midnight. She said she returned to bed, but was awoken again, an hour or two later. 

"I heard a man screaming and then it stopped," she raised her palms. "Just stopped."  

An iPad seized from the bedroom, called Jenny's iPad, showed four internet searches for "emergency services" around 11:40 p.m., but no calls were made.

Police found four photos of Jenny's apparently deceased body on McKay's phone, taken around 2:15 a.m.

Jenny McKay was found dead on the 200 block of Angus Street on Sept. 6, 2017. (Facebook)

McKay tells mom 'you're next': testimony

The police went to the McKay home because his mom, Ann, asked after her son called her three times in the night. The third time, she was able to talk to him and tried to find out what was going on.

She said he insisted Jenny was passed out from drinking — which allegedly happened often — when she asked him to put her on the phone. Multiple witnesses testified to varying degrees about the couple's challenges with alcohol consumption — Jenny's in particular. 

Surveillance footage shows she made three trips to buy Twisted Teas, wine, then vodka that day —  all of the containers found empty in or near the home by police.

Ann testified that she was worried her son would try to harm himself, again. He allegedly was acting strange with the phone calls, referencing his medication and saying things like "no one cares about me" and so she told him she was going to call the police. 

"He said, 'you would do that, wouldn't you?'" She told him that she would. "He said, 'well, you're next.'" 

Police were called to the McKay home by his mom, Ann, who feared her son might harm himself. Instead, they found Jenny's body. (GP Mendoza/CBC)

She's still not sure what he meant by that. Under cross-examination by Thomas Hynes, Ann said she believes "he did love her very much." She noted McKay's demeanour seemed to change after he was discharged from hospital in May and put on antidepressants — that he had lost interest in things.

His 19-year-old daughter also described a change in him, calling him "like a zombie" after that.  

The trial is scheduled for three weeks.