Court hears details of Barbara Kentner autopsy as pathologist testifies on day 2 of trial

·3 min read

THUNDER BAY - A forensic pathologist who conducted the post-mortem examination of Barbara Kentner’s body after she died in palliative care in July 2017 was the last Crown witness to testify in Brayden Bushby's manslaughter trial on Tuesday.

Bushby pleaded guilty to the aggravated assault of Kentner, 34, who was struck in the abdomen by a trailer hitch in late January of 2017.

Bushby is standing trial for manslaughter after pleading not guilty in connection to Kentner’s death.

On Tuesday, Nov. 3, court heard from forensic pathologist Dr. Toby Rose who testified via Zoom on the second day of the trial.

Court heard details of Kentner’s autopsy report including from a number of her medical records which revealed the complications of Kentner’s medical history. These documents also showed the details of the surgery she underwent for the injury she sustained in late January 2017.

Dr. Rose described Kentner’s medical history as ‘complicated’ but determined Kentner’s cause of death in two parts.

The first cause being bronchopneumonia and acute-on-chronic peritonitis due to the consequence of a traumatic rupture in the small intestine from a blunt force injury to her abdomen. The second significant condition in Kentner’s cause of death stated end-stage liver disease, however, this was not causally related to the immediate cause, Dr. Rose said in her testimony.

“Ms. Kentner was a chronically ill and seriously ill woman with a more or less limited life expectancy,” Dr. Rose said on Tuesday during her testimony.

Rose explained to the court how Kentner’s underlying liver disease conditions put her at risk of death even without the traumatic injury and operation she sustained, however, Dr. Rose concluded in her autopsy findings the injury hastened Kentner’s death.

“Although she was a very sick woman and that she ultimately would have died of her liver disease she would not have died at exactly the time she died had she not been injured,” Rose said, adding it was impossible for her to say only Kentner’s liver disease caused her death.

Court also heard details of the surgery Kentner underwent the day she was admitted into hospital on the same day she was struck on Jan. 29, 2017. According to report, the surgeon stated they found a small hole in Kentner’s bowel which was allowing fluid to leak out into the abdominal cavity. The injury was repaired through surgery, court heard.

Kentner’s stay in hospital was also complicated when she left against medical advice after her abdominal surgery on Feb. 4, 2017, and ended up back at the hospital six days later due to abdominal pain and fluid coming out of her incisions post-surgery, court heard.

Defence counsel for Bushby will cross-examine Dr. Rose on Wednesday as the trial continues.Complete coverage of Bushby trial: Day 1: Trial for Thunder Bay man accused in 2017 death of Indigenous woman begins'I couldn’t breathe’: Court views police statement of Barbara Kentner after trailer hitch assault

Karen Edwards, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, Thunder Bay Source