Blood stain expert describes scene inside Parkhill home at Garland murder trial
Published Wednesday, February 8, 2017 8:25AM MST Last Updated Wednesday, February 8, 2017 4:59PM MST
A forensic expert examined the Liknes home on July 1st, they day after the three were reported missing.
Jurors at the triple murder trial for Douglas Garland heard from a blood stain expert on Wednesday who said there were signs of a cleanup inside the Liknes’ Parkhill home.
Garland, 57, is charged with first-degree murder in the deaths of Alvin and Kathy Liknes and five-year-old Nathan O’Brien in June 2014.
The three disappeared from the southwest home after an estate sale and were reported missing by the little boy’s mother when she went to pick him up from a sleepover and found no one at home.
**WARNING - GRAPHIC DETAILS FOLLOW**
On Wednesday, court heard from acting Staff Sgt. Jodi Arns who told the court that she found a number of blood stains in the front foyer and living room of the home and that they were matched to Kathy Liknes.
She testified that she found dried blood flakes in the kitchen and that swipe marks revealed that a rag or mop appeared to have been used to clean up.
"In the kitchen area there were signs of a cleanup," said Arns. "In relation to the altered stains that were observed in the kitchen area, they were actually diluted and it was a lighter colour on the swipe mark. There are some really light striation marks in this area almost like a wipe."
Sgt. Arns talked about multiple blood stains that were found in the home and said that Nathan’s blood dripped onto the floor near Kathy and that he would have been ‘actively bleeding’ at the time.
"All I can tell you in that particular case is that there was a bloodletting injury and that due to gravity the blood was formulating and dropping."
She told the jury that Kathy was hit with a blunt object but was she not able to identify the weapon that was used.
"There was at least one impact with a liquid blood source of Kathryn Liknes. It's my opinion that Kathryn was on the floor at the time of impact when these stains were made," she said. "I can't tell you what object would have impacted her at the time. I can just tell you there was a significant impact to create the stains that were there."
It is believed that Alvin was attacked in the master bedroom and Arns said that Alvin’s DNA matched blood that was found in a drag mark in the upstairs hallway and also in spatter that was located behind the headboard.
She said that there were over 200 spatter stains found and that swabs that were taken all matched Alvin’s profile.
Arns said she believes Alvin was hit at least once while he was prone and that blood was also found on the nightstand and a bongo drum.
"It's my opinion that there was a minimum of one impact to Alvin as the blood source was on or near the ground," Arns said. "The reason why I say minimum of one is because in order for me to see blood-stain patterns and see blood droplets there actually has to be blood available."
She also said that saturation stains in several areas of the home were consistent with Alvin and Kathy being moved while they were still bleeding.
Under cross-examination, she said blood was found throughout the home but that she could not quantify exactly how much blood was lost by the victims.
Cst. Dale Linton and Cst. Richard Massicotte, with the Strike Force Unit, were next to testify in the case.
Linton said he was keeping tabs on Douglas Garland from July 11 to 14.
He said that Garland made a quick stop at the Walmart in Airdrie on the 13th and that he then drove to the Garland farm and entered from the back side of the property.
Massicotte also told the court that Garland was seen driving past the Airdrie property before looping around to the back of the farm.
He said that Garland started running towards the property when he saw a marked police cruise nearby and that officers became separated from him during the pursuit.
A police helicopter was used to light the area and Garland was taken into custody soon after.
The trial has wrapped for the day and on Thursday the Crown is expected to call its final two witnesses.
(With files from The Canadian Press and Ina Sidhu)