Victim bled out in minutes: Chief Pathologist at Patrick Dong’s murder trial
The amount of blood pooling underneath Patrick Dong’s body still stands out in Saskatchewan’s chief forensic pathologist’s mind.
On Friday at Saskatoon’s Court of Queen’s Bench, Dr. Shaun Ladham presented the autopsy of Patrick Dong.
The 37 year old was beaten and stabbed to death in a ditch outside of Saskatoon on Oct. 22, 2016.
A 19-year-old Saskatoon woman faces a first-degree murder charge in relation to the death. Since the woman was 17 at the time of the crime, her name is under a publication ban under the Youth Criminal Justice Act.
In an agreed statement of facts, the accused stabbed the victim six times, causing Dong to bleed out and die. The accused has pled not guilty in the judge-only trial.
Dr. Ladham told the court the cause of Dong’s death was a combination of stab wounds to the back of his left leg, and blunt force trauma to the top and back of his head.
He said five of the six wounds to Dong’s leg were deep enough to hit the muscle, causing massive blood loss. Ladham couldn’t say for sure how long it took Dong to bleed out, but estimates between 15 and 30 minutes.
The wounds on Dong’s leg showed he was stabbed with a single-edged blade, something smaller than a butcher knife. Ladham said a number of knives could have created these types of wounds, but the evidence didn’t point to a specific knife.
Earlier in the trial, witnesses told the court the accused was holding a bloody box-cutter moments after Dong was killed in a ditch off Highway 60.
Another witness told the court the accused was playing with a rainbow-coloured switchblade in a home on Avenue D South, before the victim and accused drove out of the city in a gold pickup truck.
Hole in Dong’s scalp
During the examination on Dong’s body, Ladham also discovered a gaping hole on the top of the victim’s scalp.
Upon closer examination Ladham said this was the result of severe blunt force trauma to his head, with a metal object. X-rays showed shards of metal in Dong’s head.
Justice R. Shawn Smith asked the pathologist if the metal shards pointed to a specific weapon, like a crowbar. Ladham said the laceration and the shards could have been left from a crowbar.
A toxicology report showed the victim had a high amount of methamphetamine, 992ng/ml, was in the victim’s blood when he died.
The trial continues Monday.