Mark Hutt guilty of first degree murder
Published Friday, June 7, 2013 11:41AM EDT Last Updated Friday, June 7, 2013 4:14PM EDT
Mark Hutt is convicted of first degree murder in death of his wife Donna Jones
WARNING. Graphic language and description.
An Ottawa jury has convicted Mark Hutt of first degree murder in the death of his young wife Donna Jones. The courtroom exploded with applause when the verdict was read out. Friends and family members of Donna Jones have waited more than three years for this day. After a month long trial, hearing the most horrific of evidence, they got what they came for: justice.
As Donna Jones’ brother Derek left the courthouse after the verdict, he pumped his fist into the air and thanked God and the justice system for finding Mark Hutt guilty.
“An evil man was put to jail for evil crimes to my sister,” said Jones, “and he will pay for the rest of his life.”
It took the twelve member jury less than a day to convict Hutt of the worst crime possible: first degree murder.
“I mean, it’s a relief after three and a half years,” says Sarah Tate, who had worked with Jones at the Canadian Food Inspection Agency, “and just was served.”
The quick verdict came as no surprise to the family and friends of Donna Jones -- who had packed the courtroom for the month long trial.
“I think if you were at the trial,” says Michael Paquette, who had gone to school with Donna Jones, “and saw everything and not just the emotions towards Mark, you saw, it was an easy decision.”
33 year old Jones had married Hutt in 2007 against the wishes of her friends. They feared for her life, sensed Hutt was evil. So, too, did the lead investigator. In fact, Sergeant Mike Hudson asked Hutt if he was "diabolical" during an interview at police headquarters after Hutt was taken into custody. Today, Sergeant Hudson admitted this had been the toughest case he had ever done.
"It's an incredibly horrible thing to have to look at and to be quite honest I’m glad it's done, glad it's done.”
Donna Jones died of massive infection in the basement of her home in December of 2009, 12 days after Hutt doused her, accidentally he had said, with boiling water. But there were other injuries, too: broken bones, bruises and 29 air gun pellets embedded into her body.
“I think it's a new normal,” friend Melissa Lavery said outside the Ottawa courthouse after the verdict, “that we will have to start living, a new normal without Donna, knowing those details.”
The Crown says the case has broader implications for others experiencing domestic violence.
“It’s great that people have been informed,” says Crown Prosecutor Vikki Bair, “to the extent that we may not see as much victim blaming in the future.”
For family and friends who blames themselves for not doing enough to save their “bubbly” Donna, the lead investigator had these words:
"There's only one villain here,” stated Sergeant, Hudson, “and he's going to jail for a long time.”
The sentence for first degree murder is automatic: life without parole for 25 years. Hutt will be sentenced on June 25th when court will hear victim impact statement from friends and family, giving voice to the woman that Mark Hutt silenced.