Both sides express frustration on third day of Stanley trial

By Angela Brown
January 31, 2018 - 8:45pm

It was another emotional day for both sides in the high-profile murder trial of Gerald Stanley today in Battleford. The Colten Boushie family, as well as some observers with sympathies for Gerald Stanley's plight, expressed some frustrations on the third day of the trial on Wednesday.

Stanley is facing a charge of second degree murder related to the fatal shooting of Boushie in Aug. 2016.

A Biggar area farmer attending the trial said he is disappointed with the media coverage, saying farmers haven't been portrayed accurately or fairly.

"The media is making farmers and everybody saying we're racist," said Tom Jiricka "This has nothing to do with racist. This is to do with break in and enterings (sic) of farms. There are bad apples on every side. Yes, there are some bad apples in the reserve. I know I've been broken into. I never realized how violated you feel... I don't like the way the media has made us look."

Jiricka also added he feels for both families and said it must be terrible what the Boushie family is going through by losing a son.   

Debbie Baptiste, Colten Boushie's mother, joined a group of family members and supporters wearing hoodies bearing the words 'Justice For Colten' on the front, to show their solidarity. They were required to cover the lettering inside the courtroom. Baptiste said "Murder is murder" while speaking to the press outside the courthouse, adding, "That's exactly what Gerald Stanley did."

Former Red Pheasant First Nation chief Sheldon Wuttunee said he wants to see a fair trial. 

"Moving forward, we need to have that confidence that the Crown prosecutors are going to be asking the proper questions, and doing their due diligence with all the witnesses that are taking the stand," said Wuttunee.

"I don't know if we've felt that today. But we are hoping in the coming days that hopefully we are going to find that transpires."

He said there's a degree of uncertainty among the family of Boushie, as well as family friends and relatives sitting in the courtroom listening to the proceedings.

"We are seeing some gaps in the justice system today that are not serving First Nation people, but Canadians alike," said Wuttunee, who is also related to one of the witnesses, Kiora Wuttunee. Kiora was in the vehicle with Boushie and is scheduled to testify either tomorrow or Friday. 

A Red Pheasant First Nation woman, who said she knew Colten Boushie, also came to attend the trial. 

Elsie Wuttunee wiped away tears after leaving the courthouse, saying she knew Colten as a young man who helped her in the community.

"He would never say 'no' to us. He helped his elders," she said. "He was always polite. He was always good."

She also said she was concerned to see the jury who appeared to be "all white," with no visible Indigenous members. She questioned whether the trial would be fair.

"I feel for the family," she said. 

Boushie family lawyer Chris Murphy spoke to the press briefly today about what the jury will need to consider when it makes its final decision at the end of the trial.

"At the conclusion of this case, the jury is going to be instructed to use their common sense," he said. "This morning Sheldon Stanley (Gerald's son) testified that his father said that, quote: 'I dont know what happened. It just went off. It just went off.'"

"And at the conclusion of this case the jury will say: 'Use your common sense and determine for yourselves whether or not it's a coincidence that after that gun accidentally went off, the bullet ended up right behind Colten Boushie's left ear,'" said Murphy.

The trial continues tomorrow morning at 10 a.m.

 

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Witness says shots were fired at him moments before Boushie's death

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