Staff who were inside the law firm at 252 River Avenue when a letter bomb exploded are testifying at the trial of accused letter-bomber Guido Amsel Wednesday.
First on the witness stand was Karlee Kaplan, a receptionist at the offices of Petersen King when the bombing occurred. Kaplan was also legal assistant for Maria Mitousis, the lawyer who lost her hand when a letter-bomb exploded.
Kaplan said she remembers receiving a small package for Maria Mitousis. She opens work related envelopes but did not open this one.
“I just figured it was something personal so I did not open it,” Kaplan said.
Global News’ Brittany Greenslade is at the trial.
Mitousis received the package on the Friday when she returned to work.
“I heard a very, very loud noise,” Kaplan said. “I started hearing screaming which sounded like Maria.” She ran towards Mitousis’ office.
“She was actually outside of her office in the hallway on all fours,” Kaplan said. “I could see that she was spitting out blood. Her face was covered in blood, her clothes were covered in blood.”
The firm’s managing partner, Connie Petersen, was the second witness to be called to testify Wednesday.
“I heard a loud bang. Immediately it was followed with a scream,” Petersen said.
That’s when Petersen ran towards Mitousis’ office and saw her at the door.
“She put her arms around her abdomen and slid down the side of her door frame,” Petersen said. “Maria looked up at me and she said ‘don’t leave me. Please comfort me.’”
The trial is now in its third week. It is expected to last 36 days in total.
Amsel was charged with two counts of attempted murder, one count of aggravated assault and multiple charges related to the possession of explosives in July of 2015.