Leslie Hankel was standing three to six feet away from the end of the gun when he was fatally shot, a forensic pathologist testified earlier this week in B.C. Supreme Court.
Dr. Greg Litwin was testifying at the trial of Andrew Belcourt and Samuel Mcgrath, who are charged with the second-degree murder of Hankel, a 52-year-old Victoria man with mental-health problems.
Belcourt and Mcgrath have pleaded guilty to robbery with a firearm and breaking into Hankel's Pembroke Street apartment on March 3, 2010. The jury must decide whether they are also guilty of murder.
Litwin, who testified that Hankel died of a shotgun wound to the head, said he performed an autopsy March 5, 2010, at Royal Columbian Hospital in New Westminster. Two Victoria police officers were present. Litwin testified that he examined Hankel's body as well as several small pieces of bone and a fragment of Hankel's right ear that was not attached to the body.
During the autopsy, he sewed together the edges of damaged skin on the right side of Hankel's head to restore the entrance shotgun wound, Litwin said.
"How quickly would Mr. Hankel have died?" asked prosecutor Catherine Murray.
"Mr. Hankel ... would not have survived for a long period of time," Litwin testified.
The pathologist explained the shot injured Hankel's brain stem, which regulates consciousness and vital body functions such as heart beat and breathing.
The pathologist examined a bruise and skin scrape in the centre of Han-kel's forehead, which he believed was a blunt-force-trauma injury.
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