Medical examiner testifies ‘multiple stab wounds’ caused Candy Little Light’s death
WARNING: Some of the details in this article are graphic and may be disturbing to some.
The manslaughter trial for Jillian Across The Mountain continued Wednesday with more police officers, first responders and the medical examiner taking the stand.
Across The Mountain is accused of causing the death of her partner at the time, Cindy Little Light, in 2016.
Forensic pathologist Tera Jones with the Alberta Medical Examiner’s office took the stand on Wednesday, testifying Little Light’s cause of death was multiple stab wounds.
She stated a large artery in the left arm was severed, causing significant blood loss.
When asked by the Crown how long it could take for someone to die from that type of injury, she said mostly likely about 10 minutes, but blood pressure and heart rate would have an impact.
Her autopsy report indicated three larger wounds: one to her arm, that was 12.1 centimetres deep, a second sharp puncture wound to her left lower back that was 16.3 centimetres deep and a third sharp wound that was 4.3 centimetres deep on her upper back.
Jones also testified the alcohol level of Little Light at the time of her autopsy was three times the legal driving limit in Alberta, and she does not believe the alcohol level contributed to her death.
Earlier in the day, Const. Keon Woronuk testified he was also one of the officers who’d been called to Little Light’s residence on the day of her death.
He was with Const. Nicole Arvay when they were called to a disturbance early in the day of Feb. 7, 2016 at Little Light’s apartment.
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He also responded to the call in the afternoon when Little Light was found unresponsive.
Woronuk testified she was extremely intoxicated but he did not feel threatened by her and did not have the authority to arrest her for the disturbance or for being intoxicated in her own home. He said he used discretion because she was with a sober adult, Across The Mountain, and appeared to only be angry at the police.
During cross examination, defence lawyer Michael Dietrich was questioning the officer about his statement on the day of the death, and said he had written Little Light was aggressive.
The officer said she was acting belligerent and aggressive, but not towards him. She had called 911 multiple times, angry police were at her home.
Dietrich argued back, and said the constable had written in his statement that Little Light was threatening and aggressive. He then said: “I’m not saying you’re a bad policeman but that night you dropped the ball.”
The officer responded: “She was so intoxicated she did not have the capacity to harm anyone.”
“She presented zero threat,” Woronuk added. “I don’t think she could have hurt Const. Arvay or myself if she wanted to.”
Next to testify was Jeff Standing, a paramedic and firefighter with the City of Lethbridge.
He was one of the first medical personnel on scene after Little Light was found in a pool of blood and unresponsive. He said they began life-saving measures on the woman, but shortly after, he called her time of death at 5:23 p.m. on Feb. 7, 2016.
He noted some of the blood on her body was dried and the pool of blood around her had started to congeal, giving him the impression it had been there for some time.
The judge and jury trial is scheduled for three weeks.
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