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Blood found on tailgate of Jimmy Wise's truck, murder trial told

A courtroom sketch of Jimmy Wise
A courtroom sketch of Jimmy Wise

Forensic scientists found bloodstains on the tailgate of a truck that Jimmy Wise once owned, and in the garage that he used as a repair shop, a court heard Friday.

But Sobia Malik, a forensic scientist who specializes in the examination of bodily fluids, testified that she did not have large enough samples to determine whether the blood was human.

For the same reason, Malik said, she was unable to develop a DNA profile from the samples that could link the blood to an individual.

OPP Det. Const. Michael Hyndman later took a sample from one of the bloodstains on Wise’s truck and drove it to a specialized laboratory in Pennsylvania, which specializes in mitochondrial DNA testing. Mitochondrial DNA is passed from a mother to her children.

Court heard that the lab was able to isolate mitochondrial DNA from the sample and thereby confirm that the blood was human.

James Henry “Jimmy” Wise, 77, a former mechanic, is on trial for second-degree murder in the death of Ray Collison, 58, a Chesterville handyman who disappeared in August 2009. His decomposed remains were found in April 2014 after his skull spilled out of a culvert. An autopsy revealed that he had been shot from behind at least three times.

Hyndman has told court that he believes Collison was shot before being transported to the culvert and dragged into it with a shackled engine belt.

The jury trial has heard that Wise did not become a suspect in the case until September 2014, by which time he had sold the truck that he owned at the time of Collison’s disappearance.

OPP investigators tracked down that vehicle, a 1996 GMC Sonoma, and sent it for testing at the Centre of Forensic Sciences in Toronto.

Malik told court that she can only confirm something as blood if she can both see the stain and if a chemical test — known as the Kastle-Meyer test — determines that it contains hemoglobin.

Two areas on the truck’s tailgate were confirmed to have bloodstains, she said.

Other parts of the truck – its flatbed and driver seat upholstery – also had areas that were deemed to have “chemical indications of blood.”

That finding, Malik explained, reflects the fact she could not see stains in those latter areas; only the Kastle-Meyer test indicated that blood was present. The samples were not suitable for DNA testing.

In June 2015, Malik travelled to North Dundas Township to examine a garage that Wise once used as an auto repair shop to see if blood could be detected there, and if so, whether a DNA profile could be generated from it.

Malik found one area inside the garage that she confirmed as a bloodstain, and three other areas on a wall that had “chemical indications of blood.” Again, the samples were not suitable for DNA testing, she said.

In cross-examination by defence lawyer Jon Doody, Malik said she could not determine when any of the blood was deposited. Malik also said she was unable to say whether any of the blood came from the same source or different sources.

Copyright Postmedia Network Inc., 2020

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