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  • Gunshot Residue Expert Testifies at Phillips Murder Trial

    The jury in the Brandon Phillips murder trial heard details from a gun shot residue expert this morning who examined evidence from the scene following the 2015 shooting death of Larry Wellman.

    Dr. Nigel Hearns works with the RCMP in Ottawa, specializing in gunshot residue for the last eight years.

    Hearns explained for the judge and jury what GSR is, and how it can end up on an object or person.

    If you were to fire a gun inside, in good conditions, Hearns says it would take two-minutes for the GSR in the air to settle. He compared it to tossing a handful of confetti into the air, or a plume of dust – it takes time to settle and come down.


    Hearns examined the navy blue stocking hat seized by the RNC following Larry Wellman’s death on October 3, 2015.

    He told the court he sampled the hat, and found a particle of gun shot residue on what he assumed was the front of the hat, with what appears to be two eye-holes cut into the material.

    When asked by the Crown if the particle could have been transferred by an officer who attended the scene, wearing a new glove, he said he didn’t expect so.

    Hearns says there was no chemical signature to identify where exactly the particle on the hat came from.

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