Jurors in the trial of an Adelaide woman accused of murdering her mother-in-law have heard the timeline and crime scene in the case “don’t make sense” because they were staged.
After more than six weeks of evidence, prosecutors began to close their case against Caroline Dela Rose Nilsson on Thursday.
Nilsson, 29, has pleaded not guilty to the murder of Myrna Nilsson at the home they shared on Bunbury Terrace at Valley View, in Adelaide’s north, on September 30, 2016.
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.
The court has heard Caroline Nilsson told police that two or three men with ”loud and angry voices” assaulted her, tied her up with speaker wire and tape, and ransacked the house.
But prosecutor Emily Telfer SC said that version of events raised a series of questions.
“The timeline doesn’t make sense and the crime scene doesn’t make sense because it was staged to look like something it was not,” she said.
“(Nilsson) cooperated and she played the part of the grieving daughter-in-law because the success of her plan depended on staging herself as the victim.”
The court heard data collected from the alleged victim’s Apple watch revealed that she was “brutally attacked” within 47 seconds of arriving home that night.
By 6.42pm, no more than three minutes after her arrival, Myrna Nilsson was “practically motionless” on the floor of the laundry, and her watch had taken its last heartbeat measurement.
However, 15 minutes later, Caroline Nilsson used her phone to read and respond to texts from her husband, and launch the Facebook and eBay applications, Ms Telfer said.
She said it was possible that Nilsson did not call for help at that point because she was unaware of what had just unfolded in her house.
But she said it was also possible that Nilsson did not call because “she didn’t need help and, more importantly, she didn’t want help”.
“She felt no danger from intruders because they were a figment of her imagination,” Ms Telfer said.
“She failed to call for help in that moment because, before help arrives, she needs to get things in order in her house and, as it turns out, her efforts to stage the scene take some time because she is not out of that house until 10pm – some three hours later.”
She said, on the prosecution case, there were no intruders and “this accused is responsible for the assault that caused the death of Myrna Nilsson”.
The court has previously heard it was neighbours who discovered Caroline Nilsson tied up and “moaning and groaning” outside the home about 10pm.
Prosecutors are due to continue their closing remarks tomorrow, before defence close their case and Justice Chris Bleby sums up.
The jury will then be sent to deliberate on a verdict.