Stabbing likely cause of death, jury hears

A sword through the heart is likely what killed Dominic Doyon, a forensic pathologist told the jury as the Toby Land trial continued Thursday.

“The principal cause of death, the most rapid cause of death, was the stab wounds,” said Dr. Christopher Milroy.

Doyon died in his Lowertown living room in May 2009.

Land, 28, is charged with second-degree murder. The Crown maintains Land used a hammer and a sword to strike Doyon.

The defence did not have enough time to cross-examine Milroy and is trying to do so next week.

The jury was shown photos of Doyon from the post-mortem examination as Milroy described 83 injuries in detail.

Doyon had four stab wounds, two of which were life-threatening.

The first went through the right side of his back.

“It’s rare to see stab wounds exit the body…,” said Milroy, adding it was “certainly a potentially fatal wound.”

The second entered the left side of his chest, near the armpit.

Doyon’s heart was punctured.

“This person could not have survived this wound,” said Milroy.

There were two exit wounds, indicating some movement, said Milroy.

The weapon was potentially withdrawn then forward thrusted or Doyon was shifting to avoid the blade.

All four stab wounds were compatible with being caused by one weapon, Milroy said, adding it was likely a sword since the maximum depth is beyond that of a knife.

Several crescent-shaped lacerations – many were 2.5 cm in diameter – covered Doyon’s head, including the hairline and ear area.

“That likely represents a blow with a hammer,” said Milroy, noting the diameter of the wounds matched the hammer head.

Doyon’s skull was fractured near the right temple, meaning considerable force was used, said Milroy.

Doyon’s cheekbone was also fractured.

His brain was injured as a result of the attack, Milroy testified.

“I would be surprised if he wasn’t unconscious by the end of the blows to the head,” said Milroy.

Doyon was beaten with a hammer and aluminum crutches.

The jury was shown images of Doyon’s torso, which had bruising and circular abrasions.

So did the top of Doyon’s left shoulder, near the neck.

“It’s quite likely that it was aimed at the head and missed,” Milroy testified.

Doyon’s hands and forearms displayed what Milroy deemed “defence injuries,” caused when he was trying to shield his head.

Arresting officers and paramedics are expected to testify on Friday.


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