Jury at Regina murder trial hears victim died of blunt force trauma
Saskatchewan’s chief forensic pathologist, Dr. Shaun Ladham, told the jury on Thursday that Celeste Yawney died from blunt force trauma to her head and torso, as the second-degree murder trial of Duran Redwood continued.
Redwood, 30, is charged with the death of his girlfriend, 33-year-old Yawney, whose body was found in the bathtub of her home in May 2015.
Ladham told the court that he found various signs of bruising and cuts on Yawney’s face and body along with trauma to her head. He added that she must have sustained multiple blows due to what he described as major hemorrhaging.
Ladham also testified that Yawney had multiple organ tears and internal bleeding in her abdomen, along with broken ribs.
When asked by the Crown what type of force could cause this trauma, Ladham replied that it would be consistent with a stop or kick against a surface such as a floor or wall. Ladham added that he couldn’t rule out the possibility that a weapon was used but said it was unlikely.
The jury also heard that Yawney had a significant amount of alcohol in her system, along with a drug commonly found in over-the-counter cold medications.
Ladham told the jury that it’s possible alcohol, combined with the head trauma, may have been another factor in Yawney’s death, causing her to stop breathing. He also said it’s possible that Yawney died of shock due to the blunt force trauma.
During cross-examination Ladham agreed it was possible that, even with her injuries, Yawney could have gotten herself into the bathtub. But when asked if her injuries could be consistent with a slip or fall, Ladham said the head trauma could be but testified that the abdominal trauma could not.
The Crown has now wrapped up its case against Redwood. The trial is expected to resume on Tuesday with the defence calling its first witness.
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