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Jury in Nadia Gonzales case hears from forensics officers

Officers testify about the state of the crime scene and items that were seized

2 min read
caption Detective Constable Randy Wood, a witness for the Crown, testified Friday in Nova Scotia Supreme Court.
Dominique Amit

Calvin Joel (CJ) Sparks was arrested with blood soaked bandages on his hands, the morning after Nadia Gonzales was found stabbed to death, the jury heard at his trial Friday.

Gonzales, 35, was found in a hockey bag in a stairwell of an apartment building at 33 Hastings Drive in Dartmouth on June 16, 2017. The Hammonds Plains woman was stabbed 37 times.

Sparks, 26, and Samanda Rose Ritch, 22, are charged with first-degree murder. They’re also charged with attempted murder in connection to John Patterson, 72, who was stabbed that night.

Sgt. Terry Croft with Halifax Regional Police was called as a witness by the Crown. At the time of Gonzales’ death, he was a detective with the forensic identification section, which processes and photographs crime scenes.

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Croft described processing Sparks after he was arrested the morning of June 17, 2017. He said Sparks had bandages on both hands and there was blood on the bandages. Croft and another police officer swabbed Sparks’ hands before Sparks asked to use the washroom.

Croft also described how he later found a 12-gauge sawed-off shotgun with three live rounds in it during a search of apartment 16 at 33 Hastings Drive.

Detective Constable Randy Wood, who was the exhibit officer at the time, explained how he photographed and secured evidence from 33 Hastings, as well as from surrounding properties where evidence was found. He showed the jury an orange-handled Ruko knife, which he said was found in the backyard of a nearby home.

Wood also showed a knife tip seized from outside the west stairwell on the same floor as apartment 16, as well as a broken brown-handled knife that was found in the hockey bag.

Both knife pieces had blood on them, he told the jury.

Wood seized a number of other items, including a Motorola cellphone from inside the hockey bag.  A pair of broken glasses and clear garbage bags were found in the hallway outside apartment 16.

Wood also testified about how he processed Ritch on the morning of June 17, 2017, following her arrest. He said Ritch had gauze on her ring finger and when they took the gauze off, it revealed an injury.

The trial, presided over by Justice Christa Brothers, will continue Monday in Nova Scotia Supreme Court, with Wood’s cross-examination by the defence.

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Dominique Amit

Dominique Amit is a journalism student at the University of King's College. She hails from Stellarton, Nova Scotia. She's interested in politics...

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