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Kelowna  

Not guilty in strangulation

UPDATE: 3:30 p.m.  -  WARNING: GRAPHIC CONTENT

Despite initially lying to police about his involvement in the death of 27-year-old Jillian McKinty, the man accused of manslaughter for her 2013 death was found not guilty Tuesday.

McKinty was found dead in her Armstrong home by her two children on the morning of Nov. 27, 2013. Nine months later, Logan Scott was charged with manslaughter.

McKinty and Scott had met on a dating website and had a sexual relationship with each other prior to McKinty's death.

Text message records showed Scott was planning on going to McKinty's house the night before she was found dead, but he later told police he didn't end up going, because he was involved in a different relationship and he felt guilty.

On Aug. 27, 2014, Scott was arrested by police, and following several interviews, he admitted he had in fact gone to McKinty's house the night of Nov. 26.

Following additional interrogation by the police, Scott eventually admitted he was present when McKinty died.

“He says that they were having sexual relations ... she wrapped her shirt around her neck and then leaned backwards and just laid there,” said Justice Arne Silverman in Kelowna Supreme Court Tuesday. “Not long after, he determined that her skin had turned blue or purple and she was not breathing. She was still holding the shirt which had been around her neck.”

Scott told police he put McKinty's clothes back on her lifeless body, and stole her laptop and cellphone, before leaving her house. He told police he had touched the laptop and didn't want to be connected to the house, so he disposed of the devices.

A forensic pathologist, Dr. Anny Sauvageau, testified that Scott's version of McKinty's death “cannot be true,” according to Justice Silverman.

Sauvageau said while she believed McKinty died from “ligature asphyxia,” or strangulation from a cord-like object, she said McKinty wouldn't have died quietly, but would have displayed “involuntary convulsions” in reaction to the choking before dying.

Additionally, Sauvageau said it was “impossible” for McKinty to continue to choke herself with the shirt, as “she would have reached unconsciousness at a very quick stage,” prior to death. She admitted if there was a knot in the shirt, it may have continued to choke her after she lost consciousness.

Justice Silverman said he was concerned the doctor could not “100 per cent” say McKinty died from ligature asphyxia, but only that it was “most likely.” Silverman also pointed to the fact there were no marks on McKinty that indicated a struggle.

“The evidence fails to satisfy me beyond a reasonable doubt how Ms. McKinty died,” Justice Silverman said. “In the absence of that, I am unable to conclude that she was strangled or assaulted.”

Scott was found guilty of theft under $5,000 for stealing McKinty's cell phone and laptop, and he was given a suspended sentence with one year of probation, 50 hours of community service and was ordered to pay McKinty's family $2,300 for the stolen items.

Justice Silverman offered his condolences to McKinty's family, none of whom were in the courtroom Tuesday.


ORIGINAL: noon

The man accused of manslaughter in the 2013 death of an Armstrong woman has been found not guilty of the charge.

Logan Scott was accused in the death of Jillian McKinty who was found dead in her home on Nov. 27, 2013. Her two young boys found their mother's body.

The verdict was delivered in B.C. Supreme Court in Kelowna Tuesday.

Scott has been found guilty of the lesser charge of theft under $5,000 for stealing and throwing away her laptop and phone.

During the trial, which began in a Vernon courtroom last June, a neighbour described how she heard McKinty's children crying in distress in the downstairs suite.

The neighbour went down to investigate and found McKinty's body in her bedroom.

Castanet will update with further details when our reporter returns from court.


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