Police first eyed bleeding male instead of murder accused
KIMBERLEY Ruth Mitchell wasn't initially a suspect in Kevin John Ryan's murder, but now she's been committed to stand trial.
Evidence presented to Rockhampton Magistrates Court on Tuesday during Ms Mitchell's committal hearing for Mr Ryan's murder showed her neighbour, Steven Mann, was a person of interest to police.
The court heard evidence from Queensland Police Service' lead investigator Detective Senior Constable Alex Nezic, Senior Constable Alison Smith and Senior Constable Hannah Sfiligoj on Tuesday as they were cross examined by defence barrister Ross Lo Monaco.
The court heard police found Mr Mann bleeding in his unit when they arrived at the murder scene in Bright St, Emu Park, on October 4, 2017.
Snr Const Smith, who was a scientific officer with Rockhampton scenes of crime unit at the time, attended Mr Mann's unit the following day to collect evidence and interpret the blood stains and patterns.
"There were passive (circular droplets) blood stains as well as altered and transferred blood stains," she said.
Snr Const Smith said she had been told there had been two males bleeding at the scene but the DNA results matched Mr Mann only, who had been located inside the unit with a cut lip and injury to his face.
Snr Const Sfiligoj said when she arrived, the other police at the scene had a male person in custody and she was asked to take Ms Mitchell to the Yeppoon station to take her statement, which she gave voluntarily.
She said towards the end of taking Ms Mitchell's statement, at about 7.50pm, she received a call from Snr Const Nezic.
"As a result of that conversation, you became aware she was a potential suspect," Mr Lo Monaco put to Snr Const Sfiligoj who responded 'yes'.
"I went back to speak with Kimberley," Snr Const Sfiligoj said.
"I gave her the opportunity to sign the statement as it was. She declined."
She said Ms Mitchell was then asked to attend Rockhampton station to do a Forensic Procedure Order voluntarily, but Ms Mitchell was unable to "make her mind up" so she was placed under arrest and then asked if she would do an interview with police, which she declined.
Snr Cons Nezic told the court he and his partner were transporting Mr Mann from Emu Park to Rockhampton watch house when Mr Mann told them they "got the wrong person" and alleged Ms Mitchell had killed Mr Ryan.
He said when he arrived at the scene at 4.52pm, the first responders were with Mr Mann who was on the grass outside the units and Ms Mitchell was sitting in the carport outside her unit.
Snr Const Nezic said he spoke with both Mr Mann and Ms Mitchell.
"She said there had been an altercation between Steven and the deceased outside her unit," he said.
Mr Lo Monaco asked if his client actually said that Mr Mann stabbed Mr Ryan.
Snr Const Nezic said 'no'.
The court heard Mr Mann participated in an interview and a forensic procedure order at the watch house.
Snr Const Nezic said he only spoke briefly with Ms Mitchell at the watch house as she declined to be interviewed and another officer carried out the forensic procedure order once he had a Magistrate grant a court ordered one.
Both Mr Mann and Ms Mitchell were released with no charges that night.
Ms Mitchell was arrested and charged with murder on January 9, 2018.