Boushie family says trial is opening old wounds

By Angela Brown
January 30, 2018 - 8:48pm Updated: January 31, 2018 - 12:43pm

Colten Boushie's family said sitting through the second day of the Gerald Stanley trial Tuesday has reopened old wounds for them, after seeing graphic photographs from the crime scene today.

Stanley is facing a charge of second degree murder related to the fatal shooting of Colten Boushie, of Red Pheasant First Nation, on Stanley's Biggar area farm yard in Aug. 2016. 

Boushie's family said it has been harrowing for them to see pictures from the scene of the incident shown as evidence during the trial.

"It's definitely been a tough morning to watch these pictures of my nephew lying on the ground like that," said Alvin Baptiste, Colten Boushie's uncle. "Seeing it again, it hurts. The pictures are pretty graphic - my nephew laying there, and the blood splattered over the vehicle, it's reopening the wounds again. We are trying to move forward in life, but we are trying to get through this trial first before we can start going towards the healing process. We take one day at a time here." 

Boushie's mother, Debbie Baptiste, also observed the court proceedings and appeared solemn when she left the courthouse. She declined to speak to the press. 

There was a smaller turnout of Boushie family supporters than previously seen at the preliminary hearing. Alvin Baptiste said due to the blizzard-like weather conditions Tuesday, some family friends and supporters likely couldn't travel to attend the court session.

He said some of the snow-covered roads and snow drifts made driving difficult and a safety concern.

While attending the court proceedings and, after hearing about the jury selection process that took place Monday, Baptiste said "it seems unfair" what appeared as no visible Indigenous people were selected for the jury in the final round in the jury selection process. 

"Us First Nations people, we also have a different view of things," he said. "They don't have an Indigenous First Nations view of it. They should give people a chance to speak on our behalf, to have a say in what's going on. I'm hoping the jury won't be biased, and will take the evidence that's unfolding there," said Baptiste.

Jade Tootoosis, Boushie family spokesperson and Colten Boushie's cousin, said after court that it's been hard for the family to take in the trial proceedings, and even to just be in the courtroom itself.

She said she hopes more people from the community will take in the trial.

"I want to encourage people to come out for themselves," she said. "Come bear witness, and hear for yourselves as everything unfolds, just to be present. I encourage people to come out. It is open to the public to attend.

She added the Boushie family will continue to attend the trial.

"It was hard on my family, but we'll be here tomorrow, and we'll be here for every day after," Tootoosis added.

Defence lawyer Scott Spencer hurried out of the court building with his team at the end of the day's proceedings Tuesday.

"There are no good days in something like this," he said to the media outside the courthouse. "It's a terrible situation to have to deal with, but it's good to get the evidence starting to flow here."

He said otherwise it's still early in the court proceedings, as more evidence in the case will be discussed and presented in the days to come as the trial continues. 

Testimony from witnesses will continue at 10 a.m. tomorrow morning, when Cst. Andrew Park is scheduled for the morning. It's possible Sheldon Stanley, the son of Gerald Stanley, may also testify tomorrow.

Editor's note: As this case is still before the courts, comments will be closed.

 

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