Man found not guilty of manslaughter in 2013 death of Armstrong woman
A Salmon Arm man who was on trial for the death of a woman he claimed died while they were having sex has been found not guilty.
Logan Scott was acquitted in a Kelowna courtroom following a one week trial in Vernon back in June.
He was charged with manslaughter in the death of Jillian McKinty, who he had met on a dating site, in August 2014. She was found dead from asphyxiation in her Armstrong home in November 2013.
Her death was originally not considered suspicious until her parents discovered her cellphone and laptop were missing.
After initially lying to police, Scott admitted to investigators that he was with McKinty when she died. He said they were having sex when McKinty wrapped her shirt around her neck while she was on top, leaned back, and laid there. He eventually noticed that her skin had turned blue and that she was not breathing, so he released the shirt around her neck, dressed her, took her phone and laptop and drove away.
When delivering his decision, Justice Arne Silverman said he had a number of concerns with the crown's evidence, including the fact that nothing suspicious about McKinty’s death came up at her home or during the autopsy, such as defensive wounds, and that a constable at the scene said it looked like McKinty died peacefully.
Silverman also took issue with an expert witness, Dr. Anny Sauvageau, who testified that Scott’s version of events couldn’t be true because McKinty would have had a violent physical reaction to choking or she would have become unconscious and let go of her shirt before actually choking to death.
“While properly qualified as a forensic pathologist, her source of knowledge and the basis for her opinion causes me some concern,” said Silverman.
Sauvageau testified that she uses authentic video tapes from hospitals, police departments and other partners to assist her in research on choking but that she also used videos from a German film company that makes pseudo masochistic films using actors.
“It’s simply not clear to me from her evidence to what extent she has been looking at videos that have actors in them,” said Silverman “and that they have actors in them concerns me if those have an influence upon opinions that she has formed,”
During her testimony, Sauvageau could also not say for sure if McKinty died from ligature strangulation, only that she “most likely” did.
While Silverman acquitted Scott of manslaughter he did find him guilty of theft under $5,000 for stealing McKinty's laptop and cellphone.