Two guns, flat tire found on Stanley farm: Crown witness

By Taylor MacPherson
January 30, 2018 - 11:49am Updated: January 30, 2018 - 3:27pm

There was a second gun present at the Stanley farm the night Colten Boushie was found dead according to the Crown's first witness, an RCMP investigator.

Gerald Stanley is charged with in connection with the 2016 shooting death of 22-year-old Colten Boushie. His second-degree murder trial began yesterday in Battleford.

In his opening argument, prosecutor William Burge summarized the Crown's case against Stanley, which he said will include testimony from Stanley's son Sheldon, along with several police officers and civilian witnesses. Burge said Stanley and his son were working on a fence in Stanley's farmyard, where he raised cattle and worked on vehicles, when a grey, 2003 Ford Escape entered the yard. The vehicle stopped at a parked truck, then near a quad, Burge said, and a person got out of the SUV and attempted to start the quad.

Burge said Sheldon Stanley ran over to the Ford and struck the windshield with a hammer. The driver of the vehicle reversed, he said, striking another vehicle in the farmyard. At that point, Sheldon ran into the house to grab car keys and give chase, Burge said, but while inside, he heard three shots fired in the yard. When Sheldon Stanley emerged from the house, Burge said he saw his father standing next to the vehicle's door holding a Russian-made Tokarev semi-automatic handgun.

According to Burge, Colten Boushie was dead in the driver's seat of the vehicle. The cause of his death was a single gunshot to the head, which entered behind his left ear. Burge said three spent shell casings were found and matched to the handgun by RCMP investigators; two casings were found in the yard, and the third was found on the dash of Boushie's vehicle.

Boushie was not alone in the vehicle when he was shot, Burge said. Two female passengers were seated behind him, the prosecutor said, and two male passengers fled the vehicle and ran from the scene.

Following Burge's opening argument, the jury heard testimony from RCMP Forensic Identification Specialist Cpl. Terry Heroux.

Heroux walked the jurors through photographs of the crime scene, which he compared against an aerial photo of the Stanley property. Several of the photos showed Boushie's body, lying face down outside the driver's door of the SUV.

Notably, Heroux said part of a .22 rifle, including the barrel and action, was found on the ground next to Boushie's body.

"There was a bullet noted in the chamber," Heroux said. "The action was bent."

Heroux said the scene was damaged by rain overnight. While the scene was secured by members the entire time, he said steps to preserve the vehicle's condition were not taken. Heroux said he expected to be given access to the scene within hours, but had to wait until the next day while they waited for a warrant.

The forensic investigator also drew the jury's attention to a flat tire on the Escape's front passenger wheel, and noted the unique groove pattern left by the flat in the farmyard's gravel.

"It had no tire left," he said.

Cross-examination of Heroux is expected to begin later this morning or this afternoon. Burge said he expects the jury will hear from other police witnesses today as well.

 

EDITOR’S NOTE: This story has been closed to commenting because the matter is still before the court.

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RCMP investigation scrutinized at Stanley trial

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