Graphic photos shown at trial of an Elmira teen accused of mother’s murder
Published Tuesday, March 3, 2020 12:04PM EST Last Updated Tuesday, March 3, 2020 6:27PM EST
KITCHENER -- WARNING: Some details in this story may be disturbing to readers.
Testimony continued Tuesday at the trial of an Elmira teen accused of killing his mother in 2017.
The father and brother of the accused took the stand to talk about the days and weeks leading up the murder.
The woman's body was found in her home on Christmas Day but a police officer told the court Tuesday that it’s believed she died weeks earlier.
The teen has pleaded guilty to second-degree murder and not guilty to first-degree murder.
Since he has been charged under the Youth Criminal Justice Act neither he nor his family can be identified.
On Monday court heard that the woman had been stabbed to death near the end of November 2017 but her body wasn’t discovered until almost a month later.
The victim’s brother testified that he went to her home on Christmas Day after she didn’t respond to his phone calls and text messages.
He said when he opened the door there was a “terrible smell of spoiled meat.” He also saw what he described as “muddy footprints” all over the floors but later learned it was blood.
The brother also testified that his sister’s blood was all over the covers and walls, and at the end of the hallway was a body covered by a blanket.
Court was also shown a photo of a large pile of furniture blocking the front door.
On Tuesday the police officer showed more photos and evidence gathered at the crime scene.
They included a nightgown the victim was wearing when she was found that was soaked in blood and other “biological matter.”
The officer pointed out that the nightgown had a number of “defects” or holes and rips in the fabric.
Court was also shown photos of the bed with red stains on the pillow and bedding.
The judge heard that the victim and her husband had separated in 2017. Their oldest son chose to move with his mother to Elmira while the younger son continued to live with their father in Waterloo.
The younger brother was supposed to visit his mother's home on Thursdays but he testified that those visits stopped at the end of November 2017 because he couldn't contact her.
He also said he messaged his brother about it but kept getting different explanations about her failure to respond.
"He said she was sick," the younger brother testified. "Her phone wasn't working, for the most part, those types of things."
On Christmas Eve the father and younger brother went to Elmira to pick up the accused. They said no one answered the door or their phone calls so the younger brother texted his mom saying: "What the hell's goin on?"
The following day he got a message from his older brother's friend.
"He seemed stressed, kind of frantic," he testified.
The father of the accused says the friend was alarmed by what he was hearing.
"The word 'kill' was involved," he said on the stand.
The father and son eventually called police.
They were both asked if they had any concerns about the accused being violent with his mother.
The father stated: "Argumentative maybe, but not violent, no."
The younger brother says he never saw any abuse but when asked if his mother was ever violent towards him, the he testified that there was an incident with his mother a year or two before the murder.
"She wrapped her hands around my neck and strangled me a little," he testified.
The trial continues on Wednesday.