A woman accused of murdering her mother-in-law was shopping online about 15 minutes after a smartwatch recorded her alleged victim’s last heartbeat, an Adelaide court has heard.
- Caroline Dela Rose Nilsson is accused of murdering her mother-in-law
- Myrna Nilsson was found bludgeoned to death in her home in 2016
- Prosecutors say the accused was on eBay 15 minutes after the victim’s last heartbeat was recorded on an Apple Watch
Caroline Dela Rose Nilsson, 28, is standing trial in the South Australian Supreme Court charged with murdering her mother-in-law in September 2016.
Myrna Nilsson, 57, was found bludgeoned to death inside the laundry of her Valley View home.
Prosecutor Emily Telfer SC today told the jury — of eight men and six women — that the accused “fabricated” a story to police that she and her mother-in-law had been the victims of a home invasion.
She said the accused told police that she was attacked, bound and gagged by two or three men “who looked like tradies” before escaping from the family home about three hours later and being found distressed by neighbours.
Ms Telfer said the victim was wearing an Apple Watch which tracked the victim’s last movements, recording a “flurry” of 65 movements in 39 seconds before her heart rate stopped at 6:41pm on that day.
“The Apple Watch is more than just a watch — it records and keeps track of the wearer’s level of activity and the amount of energy they are using as they move through the day,” she said.
“The Apple Watch that Myrna Nilsson was wearing when she was attacked and passed away recorded her pulse, her step count and her energy expenditure.”
Ms Telfer said the accused’s phone data revealed that she sent two text messages to her husband Mark Nilsson at 6:57pm — about 15 minutes after the victim died.
She said at 7:08pm, Ms Nilsson used the eBay application on her phone to buy bicycle tools for her husband.
“It’s the prosecution case that the accused continues to text her husband and use the eBay application on her phone at a time after Myrna Nilsson has been attacked and is either dead or dying in the laundry,” she said.
“The accused at that time had access to her mobile telephone.”
Ms Telfer said the accused told police when she was being questioned about the suspected home invasion that her phone was on a charger and she was unable to call for help.
Children were home at time of murder
The court also heard that the accused’s three children — aged one, three and five — were at home during the murder and the three hours that followed.
She said hair samples taken from the children were tested and the two older children returned positive results for Tramadol — a pain relief drug that causes sedation and reduces emotional reactions.
Defence lawyer Health Barklay SC, for Ms Nilsson, told the jury that there was no dispute that Myrna Nilsson was murdered and that the Apple Watch data revealed her time of death.
But he said his client did not kill her mother-in-law and did not give her children a sedative.
“What is in dispute at this trial is who gave it to them? The defence position is that she did not give those children Tramadol at any point in time,” he said.
“The children were awake that night, they were alert that night, they did see things in that house, they did see men in that house on the night Ms Nilsson is alleged to have killed the deceased.
“The defence case is that the circumstantial evidence does not paint a clear picture of murder.”
The trial is expected to run for six weeks.