Jury reminded to keep ‘open mind’ in trial for man accused in fatal gas-and-dash hit-and-run

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WATCH ABOVE: A judge issued a warning Thursday for jurors in a deadly gas-and-dash trial to keep an open mind. As Nancy Hixt reports, we’re also learning more about the injuries Maryam Rashidi suffered – Apr 27, 2017

The trial for a man accused of killing Calgary mother Maryam Rashidi entered Day 4 Thursday, with the presiding justice reminding the jury to keep “an open mind until all the evidence is in.”

Joshua Mitchell is charged with the second-degree murder in Rashidi’s death. She died after being run over following an alleged gas-and-dash hit-and-run on June 7, 2015.

READ MORE: ‘She was the best thing I had’: Husband mourns hit-and-run victim

Justice Alan Macleod explained there was an issue raised Wednesday from one juror who had expressed the view as to the accused’s guilt.

The judge said the court is satisfied that that juror will keep an open mind, but went on to stress to all 12 jurors the seriousness of the charge Mitchell is facing, and reminded them the burden is proof is on the Crown.

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“I’m simply emphasizing, until all the evidence is in, until we’ve heard from counsel on both sides, and until I’ve given my charge–please don’t jump to any conclusions of Mr. Mitchell’s guilt or innocence,” Macleod said.

On Thursday, court also heard from an expert in critical care neurology who treated Rashidi.

Dr. Philippe Couillard said she was unconscious and in a deep coma when she arrived at hospital.

Couillard testified she had numerous injuries including skull and neck fractures, a bruise on her lung, and other injuries to her legs–he said those injuries would have been survivable.

What was not survivable, according to the expert, was the trauma to her brain. He said there was nothing they could do to save her.

She was declared brain dead on June 9, 2015 at 1:18 p.m., and her organs were donated.

Earlier this week, a videotaped confession by Mitchell to a Calgary police homicide detective was played for the jury.

Mitchell said he was trying to do a “gas and go” at the Centex on 16 Avenue N.W., and had pulled away when the passenger in the truck told him a woman was following them.

Mitchell said his initial thought was to “drive faster” and also contemplated spraying her with bear spray.

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“At one point she was jumping on the hood,” Mitchell told Det. Rey Bangloy.

“What the hell are you thinking at this point?” Bangloy asked.

“This bitch is nuts,” Mitchell answered, laughing.

READ MORE: Confession by accused killer Joshua Mitchell played in fatal gas-and-dash case

Mitchell was arrested at a home in northwest Calgary on June 9, 2015.

The trial, which started Monday, is scheduled for two weeks.

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