NEWS
04/27/2017 13:28 EDT | Updated 04/30/2017 15:05 EDT

Bloody cash found in medical student's apartment, officer tells murder trial

HALIFAX — Blood-stained cash was found in medical student William Sandeson's apartment, and a pistol found nearby had blood at the end of its muzzle, his murder trial heard Thursday.

Halifax police Sgt. Sandy Johnston said she found stains that appeared to be blood splatter on the floors and walls of the kitchen and bathroom, and a 9mm pistol in a safe, as well as bullets and an extra clip.

Officers found a backpack of wet money in a black garbage bag, the bills worth $2,270 and "stained red," apparently with blood, Johnston said.

The backpack had a "strong smell," which she likened to "decomposition," when she opened it.

Sandeson, 24, is accused of the first-degree murder of Taylor Samson, a 22-year-old physics student at Dalhousie University. Sandeson is a former varsity track athlete originally from Truro, N.S., who was set to start his medical studies at Dalhousie within a week of his August, 2015, arrest.

The Crown alleges that the last time Samson was seen alive, he was recorded on a surveillance video walking into Sandeson’s apartment to sell him 20 pounds of marijuana for $40,000.

Johnston, who was a forensic officer at the time, said she examined Sandeson's apartment on Aug 19, 2015, taking extensive photo and video evidence.

"We examined the scene looking for anything that would be related to evidence as to what happened to Taylor Samson," she told the Nova Scotia Supreme Court jury. 

She said another officer found "small red staining along the slide" of the gun, as well as at the end of the muzzle, which she said appeared to be blood.

The gun had one live round in it and another bullet was found lodged into the window frame in the kitchen. A box of ammunition was found, with two rounds missing.

Johnston said the bathtub and sink had "wiping marks," which testing suggested could be blood.

Various cleaning products were recovered from the apartment as well, including two bottles of bleach.

Earlier this week, Frances Mysketyn-Driscoll, who worked with Sandeson at a group home in suburban Lower Sackville, said he came in to work coughing on Aug. 16, 2015, saying he had been doing a lot of cleaning the night before, and had inhaled bleach.

The case resumes Monday.