Evidence links DNA of Dartmouth prison victim to three inmates
Stephen Anderson’s blood was found on shoes and clothing seized from three inmates after being attacked in his cell at Dartmouth Prison in December 2019, a Nova Scotia Supreme Court trial for six men charged with ‘attempt to assassinate him was heard on Monday.
The DNA corresponding to Anderson’s profile appeared on a sock recovered from Colin Eric Ladelpha’s cell, on a sneaker in Kirk Kenman Carridice’s cell and on a t-shirt recovered from Andriko Jamal Crawley, a specialist in the field testified. RCMP forensic pathology.
Laurie Bradford said there was a 1 in 340 quintillion chance that the DNA was from someone other than Anderson, calling it a “rare profile.”
During cross-examination by defense attorney Billy Sparks, who represents Ladelpha, Bradford admitted that the DNA could have been indirectly transferred through contact with another person or object.
âIt’s possible,â she said. “One of the limitations of DNA tracing is that I can’t say how or when the DNA got there.”
Retail Const. Trish Kennedy, a Halifax Regional Police forensic identification officer who began testifying on Friday, was cross-examined by defense lawyers on Monday.
Defense attorney Ian Hutchison said inmates who were treated by Kennedy in a room in the central Nova Scotia correctional facility on December 3, 2019 went through the same hallway where Anderson received treatment medical the night before.
Hutchison asked the officer if she was aware of this or if steps had been taken to prevent cross-contamination of evidence. Kennedy replied that she did not know the inmates were crossing that hallway.
Anderson was beaten and stabbed in his cell less than half an hour after arriving at the prison’s North 3 Rifle Range. Six men reportedly entered the cell and closed the door while others formed a wall to keep correctional officers away during the assault, which lasted approximately two minutes and 45 seconds.
A total of 15 men are charged with conspiracy to commit murder, attempted murder, forcible confinement, aggravated assault, assault with a weapon and obstructing correctional officers. One of the men, Jacob Matthew Lilly, is also accused of assaulting a guard.
The trial of six of the men – Ladelpha, Carridice, Lilly, Wesley Todd Hardiman, Omar Orlando McIntosh and Matthew Ross Lambert – began on September 22 in a temporary courtroom at the Halifax Convention Center.
Eight men are set to stand trial at the convention center in November, while a 15th man will face a separate trial over health concerns.
On the fourth day of trial, Monday, Judge Jamie Campbell also heard testimony from an RCMP blood spatter analyst and a licensed practical nurse at the prison who treated Anderson on the night of December 2, 2019. .
Sgt. Adrian Butler said he looked at photos of Anderson’s cell, as well as investigators’ files, “to try to determine what happened.”
Butler said the majority of the blood spatter he observed was in the southeast corner of the cell and on the door. He said splashes were visible on the wall at a height of up to three inches, indicating that Anderson was on his knees or crouched down when blood gushed from his body.
“Most of the bloodletting took place in the southeast corner of the cell,” said the gendarme.
He said it was impossible to say how many times or how badly Anderson was hit, or how many people were beaten.
IAA Fern Hatcher said she and a paramedic who was also on duty at the prison that night responded to a medical distress call in North 3 and waited 10 to 15 minutes in a hallway at the outside the firing range as correctional officers secure inmates in their cells.
âWe could see North 3 was chaos,â Hatcher said. “We were basically told to stay outside until we could safely provide medical services.”
She said a pair of guards helped Anderson walk down the hall, where he partially collapsed against the wall.
âHe was in severe respiratory distress,â Hatcher said of Anderson. âHe had extreme difficulty breathing.
She said Anderson was bleeding from his nose, mouth and ears, both eyes were swollen, and he had a large bruise on the top of his head.
He had several puncture wounds in his back, one of which was “quite deep,” she said, adding that there were 14 injuries.
Hatcher said Anderson continued to have trouble breathing after being given oxygen. Paramedics were called to transport him to hospital for further evaluation.
Anderson was extremely agitated, Hatcher said, “struggling to breathe, anxious, exhausted”.
âHe remained conscious at all times,â she said. âHe knew who he was, knew where he was. He knew what had happened to him.
Defense attorney Kyle Williams, who represents Carridice, took issue with Hatcher over the number of puncture injuries she observed. He said a hospital trauma team noted nine injuries and said they were all superficial.
âI’m not on the trauma team,â Hatcher replied. “I don’t know what they wrote.”
Crown attorneys Rick Woodburn and Scott Morrison expect to call their last witness on Tuesday, a trauma specialist who examined Anderson in hospital.
Defense lawyers will then meet with their clients before announcing whether they plan to present evidence. Hutchison, who is Lilly’s attorney, told the court on Monday that the defense was considering calling evidence from two corrections workers.