Caroline Nilsson granted home detention bail ahead of trial for alleged murder of mother-in-law


An Adelaide woman accused of murdering her mother-in-law, in an incident allegedly documented on a smartwatch, will be released on home detention bail.

Caroline Dela Rose Nilsson is accused of beating her mother-in-law Myrna Nilsson to death before staging a home invasion at their Valley View home in 2016.

Family and friends hugged and cried outside court after Justice Chris Bleby agreed to grant home detention bail to Ms Nilsson, with strict monitoring conditions.

Justice Bleby said it was unusual to grant bail to someone charged with murder but that Ms Nilsson had already spent an “extremely long time time in jail”.

Ms Nilsson has been in custody for more than two-and-a-half years, including during a Supreme Court which ended when a jury failed to reach a verdict after five days of deliberations in October.

Her retrial will start in August next year.

“She is facing another eight to nine months before the next trial starts,” Justice Bleby said.

Police have alleged that data on the victim’s smartwatch contradicted Ms Nilsson’s account of what happened on the night her mother-in-law died.

Myrna Nilsson’s body was found in the laundry of a home in Valley View in 2016.(Facebook: Myrna Nilsson)

Prosecutors opposed bail, claiming Ms Nilsson could be a flight risk given all her extended family live in the Philippines and that she has limited connections in Australia.

“Home detention doesn’t provide the same level of restriction that being in custody does,” prosecutor Melissa Wilkinson told the Supreme Court.

“She’s not physically prevented from leaving the premises … for eight months and the duration of the trial.

“There will be a constant opportunity to leave the premises and constant motive to leave the premises and if she leaves, she has a head start on authorities.

“The fact that the accused has reported … that she finds prison stressful and misses her family and she becomes upset — that is not a reason to grant bail.

“It’s obvious prison is stressful.”

Family members, including the husband, of Caroline Dela Rose Nilsson.
Several of Ms Nilsson’s family members attended today’s hearing.(ABC News: Claire Campbell)

But Justice Bleby said while he accepted there was a degree of risk, he did not think it was a high enough to refuse bail.

The court heard Ms Nilsson did not have a current passport and will have to surrender any expired passports as part of her bail agreement.



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Caroline Nilsson to go on trial again for alleged murder of mother-in-law Myrna at Adelaide home


An Adelaide woman accused of murdering her mother-in-law, in an incident allegedly documented on a smartwatch, will go on trial again after previous prosecutions ended in mistrial and a hung jury.

South Australia’s Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP) Martin Hinton will run another trial for murder accused Caroline Dela Rose Nilsson, after a Supreme Court jury failed to reach a verdict.

The jury deliberated for almost 40 hours, over five days, trying to decide whether the 29-year-old was guilty of murdering her mother-in-law Myrna Nilsson before staging a home invasion at their Valley View home in 2016.

But the jurors could not reach agreement and a mistrial was declared.

The Supreme Court this morning listed another eight-week trial for August next year.

Myrna Nilsson’s death was allegedly documented on a smartwatch and prosecutors allege data contradicts Caroline Nilsson’s account.

Ms Nilsson was found in a state of hysteria with her hands and feet bound and told police that she and her 57-year-old mother-in-law had been the victims of a violent home invasion.

But police accused her of murdering Myrna Nilsson at the home.

Myrna Nilsson’s body was found in the laundry of a Valley View home in 2016.(Facebook: Myrna Nilsson)

The court has previously heard that Caroline Nilsson, her husband Mark and their three young children lived with the victim.

During the recent trial, the jury was told that data extracted from the victim’s smartwatch proved that she was killed as soon as she returned from work, as she walked into the laundry.



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Caroline Nilsson murder trial returns hung jury over death of mother-in-law captured on an Apple Watch


After deliberating for five days, a South Australian Supreme Court jury has failed to reach a verdict in the murder trial of Caroline Nilsson, who was accused of faking a home invasion to cover up a murder that was documented on a smartwatch.

The jury spent almost 40 hours over five days trying to decide whether the 29-year-old was guilty of murdering her mother-in-law Myrna Nilsson before staging a home invasion at their Valley View home.

Justice Chris Bleby this evening discharged the jury after eight weeks of evidence, telling jurors it was a complex case.

Ms Nilsson will face trial again and her lawyers have flagged a possible bail application.

Ms Nilsson was found in a state of hysteria with her hands and feet bound in September 2016 and told police that she and her 57-year-old mother-in-law had been the victims of a violent home invasion.

But police accused her of murdering Myrna Nilsson at the home.

Smartwatch evidence

During the trial, jurors were told that Ms Nilsson’s home invasion story was contradicted by evidence from the victim’s smartwatch, which had documented her death.

Prosecutor Emily Telfer SC told the jury that Ms Nilsson “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.

“None of the versions that Caroline Nilsson told police were true,” she said.

Ms Telfer said the victim was wearing an Apple Watch which tracked her 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 that Myrna Nilsson was wearing when she was attacked and passed away recorded her pulse, her step count and her energy expenditure.”

Caroline Nilsson told police Myrna Nilsson died during a home invasion in 2016.(Supplied: Facebook)

The court also heard that the accused’s three children — then aged 1, 3 and 5 — were at home at the time and the three hours that followed.

“How three children were kept quiet, contained and distracted while these events unfolded will no doubt be a question that occupies you,” she said.

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.

Apple smart-watch
Data collected by Myrna Nilsson’s Apple Watch was used as evidence throughout the trial into her murder.(Supplied: Supreme Court SA)

In his closing address to the jury, Heath Barklay SC, for Ms Nilsson, said his client was a loving mother who had a good relationship with her mother-in-law and there was no evidence of animosity between them.

“It just seems so inherently unlikely that this nice, loving mother is just going to turn into some sort of psychopath — kills her mother the moment she gets home, drugs her kids, searches the internet for a while, changes her bloody clothes and then presents as a victim.

“She is in love with her husband, she’s sending him nice text messages. This is minutes before she’s meant to turn into a cold-blooded killer.”



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Alleged killer Caroline Dela Rose Nilsson had ‘no motive’ to kill, despite financial pressures, court hears


South Australian murder accused Caroline Nilsson is a loving mother who did not turn into a “psychopath” and “cold-blooded killer” minutes after sending nice text messages to her husband, a Supreme Court jury has been told.

The 29-year-old is facing trial for allegedly murdering her 57-year-old mother-in-law, Myrna Nilsson, at their Valley View home in September 2016.

Prosecutors allege she then staged the house to appear like there had been a violent home invasion, before the accused was found bound and gagged in the street.

The court has previously heard that Ms Nilsson, her husband Mark and their three young children lived with the victim.

Heath Barklay SC, for Ms Nilsson, told the jury on Friday that his client was a loving mother who had a good relationship with her mother-in-law and there was no evidence of animosity between them.

“You should have an unease about this prosecution case,” he told jurors in his final address.

“It just seems so inherently unlikely that this nice, loving mother is just going to turn into some sort of psychopath — kills her mother the moment she gets home, drugs her kids, searches the internet for a while, changes her bloody clothes and then presents as a victim.

The body of Adelaide grandmother Myrna Nilsson was found in the laundry of her home in Valley View in 2016.(Facebook: Myrna Nilsson)

Mr Barklay told the court that Ms Nilsson had no motive to murder her mother-in-law, despite the financial motive being painted by the prosecution.

Prosecutor Emily Telfer SC told the jury that the accused was being chased for a $4,000 debt and the couple were paying $1,000 a fortnight to live with the victim in Valley View.

She said the accused did not have her own bedroom in the house and slept in the same room as her daughters, while her son slept with his grandmother.

“Mark Nilsson is an only child. Myrna has no other dependents. There can be no mystery that the accused would believe herself to be entitled to some of that wealth if Myrna Nilsson passes.”

She said the victim owned houses in Adelaide and the Philippines, holidayed in Europe, bought luxury items and had purchased a car and condo for her six-year-old grandson.

Mr Telfer told jurors that the accused and her husband discussed whether Myrna Nilsson would lend them money for a car but spoke about her with “disrespect” in a series of text messages in the lead-up to the alleged murder.

But in his closing address to the jury, Mr Barklay said there was no anger in those text messages as their discussions about whether the victim would lend them money contained the word, “lol”.

Apple watch data used as evidence

During the trial, the jury was told that data extracted from the victim’s smartwatch proved that Myrna Nilsson was killed as soon as she returned from work as she walked into the laundry.

They heard that Ms Nilsson’s account of what happened — that her mother-in-law was followed home by two or three tradies after a road rage incident — was inconsistent with that evidence.

“If she wanted to stage herself as a victim, she had to behave like a victim,” Ms Telfer told jurors on Thursday.

“No matter how much the accused tried to mould her version, she could not make the story of intruders fit the data.”

A smartwatch
Data from Myrna Nilsson’s smartwatch has been used as evidence in court.(Supplied: Supreme Court of South Australia)

Mr Barklay told the jury that when neighbours found his client that night, she was hysterical and crying uncontrollably.

“The way she presented, the state she was in, is completely consistent with having been a victim, having been through a terrifying ordeal,” he said.

“The prosecution wants you to think it’s an act — but members of the jury, what if it’s not?”

The trial has been running for seven weeks and Justice Chris Bleby will soon address the jury before they start their deliberations.



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Caroline Dela Rose Nilsson on trial charged with 2016 murder of mother-in-law


An Adelaide woman allegedly bludgeoned her mother-in-law to death, before she tied herself up and told police they had been the victims of a violent home invasion, a court has heard.

Caroline Dela Rose Nilsson is on trial in the South Australian Supreme Court charged with the murder of Myrna Nilsson, 57, at the home they shared at Valley View, north of Adelaide, on September 30, 2016.

Opening the prosecution on Tuesday, prosecutor Emily Telfer SC said, on that night, neighbours discovered Caroline Nilsson “moaning and groaning” outside the home about 10pm.

Police discovered the body of Myrna Nilsson on the laundry room floor and declared her dead at the scene, while the three young children of Caroline and her husband, Myrna’s son Mark, were also in the home.

Jurors heard Caroline Nilsson told police two or three men with “loud and angry voices” entered the home with Myrna Nilsson when she arrived home from work earlier that night.

She allegedly told police that, during the home invasion, the men had assaulted her and tied her up with speaker wire and tape, before they ransacked the house.

“It’s the prosecution case that the story about other men being there is a fabrication which has been conceived and repeated by Caroline Nilsson to cover the fact that she killed her mother-in-law in the laundry of the house that they shared,” Ms Telfer told the jury.

Ms Telfer said data collected from an Apple watch worn by Myrna Nilsson will show a “flurry of activity” recorded about 6.30 that night.

“After that flurry, all movement stops,” she said.

“On the prosecution case, this is a record of Myrna Nilsson fighting for her life in an attack.”

The court heard that the attack must have happened immediately after Myrna Nilsson arrived home, because the bluetooth in her car disconnected 47 seconds earlier.

Ms Telfer said less than an hour later, at 7.08pm, data collected from Caroline Nilsson’s phone showed she opened the eBay app after her husband texted her about buying tools.

Mr Nilsson had been at his job as a security guard on the night of his mother’s death.

Caroline Nilsson has pleaded not guilty to the charge.

The trial continues before Justice Chris Bleby.



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