The Nancy Kissel Case - Part 22

(The Standard)  Kissel jurors look for bloodstains.  By Albert Wong.  July 14, 2005.

A television set and a chest of drawers that had been at the foot of the bed and alleged to have been splashed with spots of blood were displayed to the judge and jury as the Kissel murder trial continued at the High Court Wednesday.

As well as identifying the two items, police officer Chan Kin-wah also confirmed he had helped remove from the Kissel residence on November 12, 2003, a green rug, tablets and other items from around the house and from Nancy Kissel's handbag.

Kissel, 41, is accused of serving her husband a pink milkshake laced with sedatives, which left Robert Kissel unconscious at the foot of their bed as she beat him to death with a heavy metal ornament on November 2, 2003.  The accused told a doctor and police at the time that her husband was drunk and had assaulted her after she refused him sex, and then disappeared.  She denies the murder charge and is on bail.

The banker's decomposing body, wrapped in a carpet, was discovered in a storeroom in the Parkview residential complex in Tai Tam in the early hours of November 7.

Blood-stained items were examined on November 7 and 8, and Chan first visited the premises to remove further items on November 12 and 13.

Counsel, jurors and the judge gathered around the television set to see if they could identify blood spots.

Five police officers were called in to carry the chest of drawers on which the television once stood.  Jurors pointed out to each other areas allegedly stained by the blood.

Chan also said that a green rug which he had seized on November 12 appeared to be the same as the one the accused was pictured carrying in closed-circuit TV footage.  
The tag on the rug, with its identification details, tallied with the details on a receipt from furniture store Tequila Kola, which showed that the accused had bought and taken a four by six-foot green rug.  The rug was passed around the jury so they could feel its weight.

On November 12, 2003, Chan also seized a white handbag belonging to the accused and a bottle of tablets with the label "Dextropropoxyphene Kissel, Nancy.'' There were 15 tablets left in the bottle, whose label stated "Tab-20.''  Another bottle of tablets with similar spelling was seized from a wardrobe. This was dated October 28, 2003. It contained 11 tablets and had a label stating "Tab-20.''

Chan said he also collected some white powder from two corners of the bed.  On November 13, Chan said one of the domestic helpers directed him to more plastic bags which, had not yet been seized, containing a black glove, a bottle of grease cleaner and blackened tissue paper.

In cross-examining the witness, senior counsel Alexander King for the accused pointed out that there seemed to be dried white powder around some of the handles on the chest of drawers.  After getting up to examine the piece of furniture more closely, Chan agreed with the assertion.

Chan also said Senior Inspector See Kwong-tak was responsible for deciding which items were to be seized on November 12. Drawing Chan's attention to a picture of the television set sitting on a white towel on the chest of drawers, King asked: "Were you instructed by See to seize that white fabric?''  Chan replied: "I did not seize it.''

Chan also said See had told him there was no need to search the room of the youngest son since he did not think such "vulgar'' exhibits would be left there.  When Chan returned to the Kissel residence on November 13, and the domestic helper notified him about items he had failed to seize, she told him that she found them in the room of the youngest son, Chan said.

The trial continues today before Justice Michael Lunn.

(SCMP; no link)  Blood-spattered TV seen close up.  By Polly Hui.  July 14, 2005.

The jury in the Kissel murder trial was yesterday allowed its first close-up view of a blood-spattered television set and chest of drawers taken from the room where Nancy Kissel allegedly bludgeoned her husband to death.

They were also asked to weigh with their hands a green carpet that CCTV footage appeared to show Kissel, 41, carrying at the Parkview estate on November 3, 2003, a day after she is alleged to have killed Merrill Lynch banker Robert Peter Kissel. A receipt for a carpet dated that day was found in her handbag, according to police. Three days later she told police her husband had assaulted her, causing multiple injuries.

Police officers in the Court of First Instance unwrapped the plastic sheeting covering the television set and the chest of drawers it sat on in the master bedroom of the Kissels' flat. Government chemist Lun Tze-shan testified on Tuesday said he found blood on the two items that was "probably from the deceased".

Constable Chan Kin-wah told the court he seized both items on November 12, 2003. The jury, lawyers and the judge took turns inspecting them. Constable Chan also identified a green carpet with a tag on one corner marked "CL 18" that matched a receipt from the furniture shop Tequila Kola which he took from the defendant's handbag. The receipt said: "4x6 feet, CL 18, taken, November 3, 2003".

Maximina Macaraeg, a domestic helper for the family, testified last month she saw two new carpets in the living room on the morning of November 5.

Prosecutor Polly Wan asked the jury to look at a still from CCTV footage that showed the defendant carrying what appeared to be the green carpet. She then invited the jurors to carry the rug.

Kissel is accused of murdering her husband with a heavy object on or around November 2, 2003. She has pleaded not guilty to murder.

The constable also identified other exhibits, including five bottles of pills from a kitchen cabinet, a mobile phone belonging to the deceased and samples of white powder found in the bedroom.

Defence counsel Alexander King SC also questioned Constable Chan about the three visits he made to the flat to conduct investigations. Mr King asked him whether he had been told by a superior to search the two rooms of the defendant's children during his first visit to the flat on November 12, 2003. He said he had investigated the room shared by the two daughters, but not the son's.

Constable Chan told the court he returned to the flat the next day after one of the Kissels' domestic helpers told police she had found items that had aroused her concern in "the wardrobe in the boy's room". His team seized plastic bags with a torn bedcover and stained tissue paper. The defendant's lawyer also told police to return on November 17 to collect more items.

The case continues today before Mr Justice Michael Lunn.