Friends describe horrific abuse against Ottawa woman found scalded to death

Donna Jones and Mark Hutt on their wedding day. In December, 2009, Jones was murdered. Her husband Mark is on trial for first-degree murder.

Credits: QMI


OTTAWA - Two months before Donna Jones married Mark Hutt, she was calling battered women's shelters and told a colleague she saw no way out, a jury heard Tuesday.

Charged with first-degree murder, Hutt is accused of scalding his wife with boiling water and leaving her to die.

"She said to me that she was stuck - stuck in her situation of trying to leave Mark," Crystal Lang, who worked with Jones at the Canadian Food Inspection Agency, testified.

Jones, who that summer covered her bruises with a turtleneck, said she couldn't stay with Lang because she feared Hutt would watch her leave work. She couldn't go to her family because they had their own problems, Lang said.

Jones said she was "scared for her life" and asked Lang to take her to the doctor because she was so anxious, court heard.

In the car, Jones' cellphone rang, Lang said.

"It was Mark. He was in a fit of rage," Lang said. "He was crazy. I could hear everything.

"He said: 'Where are you and what are you doing? You better be f---ing home tonight, Donna Jones. If you're not here, I'll kill you, your family and myself.'

Two years later, Jones was found dead with injuries including infected burns to almost half her body, two black eyes, a broken nose and old and new fractures.

The Crown alleges Hutt scalded his wife with boiling water, then left her in the basement, too terrorized to seek help in the 11 days it took her to die.

Lang and another colleague, who both remembered Jones as a talented employee and caring friend, testified they were worried by hearing Hutt yell at his wife during his incessant calls. They didn't buy her excuses for her bruises and burns.

The last straw for Karen Gorman was the large, fresh bruise she saw on Jones' back when her top rode up as she bent over a month before her wedding.

"I knew that I would have to describe it to somebody someday," Gorman testified Tuesday.

She said told Jones she was a beautiful person who deserved to be loved and this wasn't love.

"I fear that if you don't leave him, then he will kill you," Gorman said she warned Jones.

Tears rolled down her face, Gorman testified.

"It's not as bad as you think," was all she said.

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