Jury given break in Legebokoff trial

The jury hearing the trial for Cody Allan Legebokoff was given a three-week break after testimony from witnesses called by Crown prosecution wrapped up Thursday.

The trial for the young man accused of murdering a teenage girl and three women had originally been expected to last six to eight months but due in part to a series of admissions of facts, progress has been much faster.

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However, B.C. Supreme Court Justice Glen Parrett stayed with a promise he made at the trial's outset to give the jury two weeks off and a further week was subsequently added to give him and legal counsel time to deal with an application.

Parrett did not provide details of the application when he spoke to the jury Thursday.

Over the 37 days the trial has taken so far, the jury has heard from 93 witnesses and 133 exhibits have been submitted as evidence.

Among his final words before sending the 14-person jury away on its break, Parrett reminded the members to refrain from drawing any opinions as to whether Legebokoff, 24, is guilty as charged until all evidence has been heard.

He also urged jury members to refrain from discussing any conclusions about the case amongst themselves, let alone anyone else, until retiring to carry out deliberations.

"The reason I gave you this caution earlier [when the trial began] and give it to you again now is that you may form fixed opinions too soon if you discuss the case amongst yourselves before you've heard all the evidence," Parrett said.

Whether defence counsel will call any witnesses remains to be seen. And if defence does call witnesses, Crown has the option to call more evidence in reply.

Legebokoff is accused of first degree murder in the deaths of Loren Donn Leslie, 15, Jill Stacey Stuchenko, 35, Cynthia Frances Maas, 35, and Natasha Lynn Montgomery, 23.

Earlier Thursday, defence lawyer Jim Heller took Sgt. Beverly Zaporozan through a cross examination of the findings she presented to the court the day before regarding the patterns of blood found at the scenes related to the trial.

Zaporozan agreed that she can't say how long blood stains have existed at a particular location and the order in which they appeared. She also agreed that "transfer stains," in which blood is left by someone contacting a surface, can reach their point through any number of intermediaries.

And there was an extended discussion over whether "spatter stains," the result of flying blood hitting a surface, are the result of "impact force," essentially blood squirting from the victim when struck, and being "cast off" from the weapon.

Zaporozan said impact patterns tend to form a v-like shape, "very circular at the centre and upward moving spatter on the outside" while cast off spatter is more linear.

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