Remembrance Day poppy found near Melissa Richmond’s body, court hears
Investigators found a Remembrance Day poppy and other “disturbed” areas next to the body of 28-year-old Melissa Richmond, jurors in her Canadian soldier husband’s murder trial heard Wednesday.
Richmond was found dead in a deep ditch along Bank Street near the South Keys Shopping Centre on July 28, 2013 — three days after she was reported missing by her husband, 52-year-old Howard Richmond.
Howard Richmond admitted at the outset of his first-degree murder trial, which began last week, that he stabbed his wife to death with a knife and screwdriver.
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He has pleaded not guilty and his lawyers have argued he was not criminally responsible because he was suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder, caused by six tours of duty as a member of the Canadian Armed Forces.
Photos of murder scene
On Wednesday, Ottawa Police Service Det. Chantal Pombert described the scene where Richmond’s body was found.
Photos viewed by the court showed Richmond lying on a bed of leaves on her right side, with her left arm outstretched and raised above her head.
There were “disturbed” areas near the body — piles of small sticks and brush, said Pombert, a forensics expert. There was also a red poppy, she told the court.
“Like a live flower?” asked Justice Douglas Rutherford.
“No, a Remembrance Day poppy,” said Pombert.
Another photo showed a large pool of blood on the ground, taken after officers had moved Richmond’s body. That blood came from her shoulder and neck area, said Pombert.
Images of the screwdriver and knife used to kill Richmond have already been entered into evidence.
Howard Richmond completed six tours of duty for the Canadian Armed Forces: three in Afghanistan, two in Bosnia and one in Cyprus. He remains a Warrant Officer employed as a geomatics technician.
The court has previously heard that Howard Richmond posted online about voices in his head the night he killed his wife, and that Melissa Richmond was having an affair with a friend of the couple at the time of her death.
The trial continues Thursday.