A slain TIB member stabbed to death had no telltale wounds on his hands or arms that would show he was defending himself, a pathologist told the court Monday.
Dr. John Stefanelli testified at the second-degree murder trial of Torbin Alec, whom the Crown alleges stabbed David Seymour to death in July last year.
Prosecutor Rob Bruneau said in B.C. Supreme Court that the stabbing occurred after a fist fight between the two men outside a house party on Columbia Street in July 2012.
The trial was delayed slightly Monday after defence lawyer Jeremy Jensen re-elected a trial by judge alone. Justice Dev Dley then dismissed the 12-person jury.
Alec, dressed in a suit jacket and wearing small glasses, watched impassively from the prisoner’s dock, occasionally flipping through photos of the autopsy as Stefanelli discussed stab wounds.
While Seymour suffered a total of six stab wounds, one of the two thrusts directly to his heart would have been enough to cause death, Dr. Stefanelli said.
Doctors could not resuscitate Seymour at Royal Inland Hospital.
Bruneau opened the trial with an outline of the Crown’s case against Alec.
Alec and Seymour were at a house party in the 700 block of Columbia Street when a fight broke out.
“In the early morning, there was a fist fight between Jesse Seymour and Torbin Alec. They were friends who’d known each other for some time,” Bruneau said.
The Crown alleges Alec stabbed his friend six times, twice through the heart.
In cross-examination, defence lawyer Jensen suggested to the pathologist that the otherwise unscathed Seymour was on top during the struggle.
And the pathologist agreed it would be difficult for Seymour to have incurred the wound to the rear of his shoulder if he were on the ground and on his back during the stabbing.
Police were called to the house after the incident. They later arrested Alec at his mother’s home, where they found a bucket of bloody water and a bloody knife.
Stefanelli, a pathologist who has practiced for 31 years in forensic medicine, held the four- or five-inch folding knife on the witness stand, explaining it could have inflicted the wounds he found. The blade was extremely sharp.
While there were five stab wounds to the chest and another at the rear of one Seymour’s shoulders, Stefanelli said the victim had no defensive wounds to his hands or arms — “wounds where a person is trying to block or protect themselves from a blow or injury.
“I didn’t see anything I would describe as a defensive wound.”
While the Crown theorizes there was a fist fight, Stefanelli also said Seymour had no bruising or cuts on his face that typically accompany such disputes.
The Crown’s case is expected to take six days. Partygoers and friends at the party are scheduled to testify Tuesday.
Bruneau is a city defence lawyer who was appointed as special prosecutor because Seymour was the son-in-law of former lieutenant-governor Steven Point.