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Murder trial continues on Nov. 28

North Thompson woman charged with killing husband in September 2020

The trial of a North Thompson woman charged with killing her husband is underway in BC Supreme Court in Kamloops.

Ashley Tschritter, 33, of Clearwater has entered a not guilty plea to a charge of second-degree murder in connection with the Sept. 6, 2020, fatal shooting of her husband, David Simpson, 39.

He died after being shot on a remote forest service road near Vavenby. Court heard

Defence lawyers Bobby Movassaghi and Bianca Kendregan made arguments on Thursday (Nov. 24) that called police procedures into question and raised concerns about the alleged involvement of a third party on the day of Simpson’s death.

Crown counsel Tim Livingston introduced a forensic pathologist to the courtroom to assist with post-mortem interpretation from a medical perspective.

Dr. Jason Doyle, who is a consultant for Interior Health and the BC Coroners Service, as well as an instructor in forensic pathology at UBC, was sworn in Thursday as an expert in forensic pathology for Tschritter’s trial after performing a Sept. 11, 2020, autopsy on Simpson’s remains. Doyle outlined findings from the autopsy, which were presented to the jury in booklets with photographs and X-rays.

“This injury would be almost universally fatal regardless of location,” Doyle told the courtroom about survivability during questioning about one of three injuries reported in his findings.

Doyle said a shotgun wound to the chest/thorax was confirmed as the cause of Simpson’s death, based on the autopsy. Doyle explained that due to “rapid blood loss” and the location of the shotgun wound in relation to the heart, the outcome would have been “catastrophic,” with close to zero chance of survivability, regardless of whether medical treatment could be administered immediately.

Doyle confirmed the muzzle of the shotgun wound was not touching Simpson’s skin.

However, the autopsy could not reveal the distance from where the gunshot wound occurred without a ballistics report.

Justice Joel Groves said the trial will reconvene in room 5B at 10 a.m. on Monday, Nov. 28.