Prosecutors in the trial of a man accused of killing his girlfriend’s three-year-old son closed their case Friday with video evidence tracking the man’s movements in the hours and minutes leading up to the slaying.
Daniel Jensen, 34, is charged with first-degree murder in the Oct. 29, 2019, stabbing of Hunter Smith Straight.
Closing arguments in the case will be heard next week. The defence did not call any evidence.
Hunter was attacked as he slept in the second-floor suite of a Pritchard Avenue duplex in Winnipeg.
Prosecutors allege Jensen returned to the home after a violent argument with Hunter’s mother, Clarice Smith, with whom he was in a relationship at the time, and killed the boy in an act of vengeance.
On Friday, jurors were shown a video timeline prepared by Winnipeg police and compiled from multiple security videos showing Jensen’s various movements from 4 p.m. on Oct. 29 to his arrest 24 hours later outside a Liquor Mart on Leila Avenue.
Security video shows Jensen, Smith, her sister and boyfriend arriving at the Northern Hotel on Main Street at approximately 11:20 p.m.
It shows Smith striking Jensen several times while seated at a table at 1:40 a.m. About 15 minutes later, Jensen followed Smith to the washroom entrance, where security video captured him striking and kneeing her several times in the face.
Another bar patron interrupted the assault and Jensen left the hotel through a rear exit.
Outdoor security video captured images of a man prosecutors say is Jensen making his way to Pritchard Avenue at 1:55 a.m. The next time a security camera captured an image of the man was at 2:05 a.m., walking down a back lane behind Pritchard Avenue.
It was in those intervening 10 minutes prosecutors allege Jensen returned to the three-year-old boy’s home and stabbed him six times in the head and neck.
Earlier Friday, jurors heard evidence from an Ontario Provincial Police bloodstain pattern expert, Const. John Frankcom, who testified about blood found at the scene of the killing and blood spatter found on Jensen’s clothes. A DNA expert previously testified blood found on Jensen’s sweatshirt, T-shirt and sweatpants matched Hunter’s DNA profile.
Crown attorney Jennifer Mann asked Frankcom if the same bloodstain pattern found on Jensen’s clothing could have resulted from a suspect holding the young victim down with his left hand, while stabbing him with his right.
"That is absolutely possible, yes," Frankcom said.
Jensen’s lawyers have pointed the finger at another man living at the house, one of Hunter’s older cousins, who court has heard had bleeding wounds to his hands when he was interviewed by police shortly after the killing.
On cross examination, defence lawyer Bruce Bonney asked Frankcom if blood spatter on the boy’s bedroom walls had been tested for DNA.
Frankcom confirmed it had never been tested.
"I didn’t have a say to what got tested here," he said. "My understanding is there were no results for these samples, if there were samples."
Closing arguments in the case are expected next week.
Someone once said a journalist is just a reporter in a good suit. Dean Pritchard doesn’t own a good suit. But he knows a good lawsuit.