Three shots fired the night In­dige­nous man died, court told

The Prince George Citizen - - Local - Bill GRAVELAND

BATTLEFORD, Sask. — The Crown says ev­i­dence will show that three shots were fired the night a 22-year-old In­dige­nous man was killed on a Saskatchewan farm although the fa­tal bul­let has never been found.

Crown pros­e­cu­tor Bill Burge told Ger­ald Stan­ley’s trial on Tues­day that court will hear from the farmer’s son, Shel­don, who was work­ing with his fa­ther on a fence that night and came run­ning when they thought some­one was try­ing to steal a ve­hi­cle from their yard.

Burge told jurors they will hear Shel­don Stan­ley went in­side to get his keys be­cause a grey Ford Es­cape SUV was start­ing to drive away when it hit an­other ve­hi­cle in the yard.

“As he was run­ning into the house, he heard two gun­shots. When he got out of the house with his car keys, he heard an­other gun­shot. He looked. He saw his fa­ther stand­ing by the driver’s door of this ve­hi­cle with a gun and a clip in his hand,” Burge told court.

“Shel­don Stan­ley ap­proached the ve­hi­cle and saw Colten Boushie in the driver’s seat slumped to­ward the steer­ing wheel.”

Burge said there were two fe­males in the back seat of the ve­hi­cle. Two other males had jumped out and ran away.

The Crown said an au­topsy found Boushie died from a gun­shot wound.

“There was only one sig­nif­i­cant in­jury on his body and that was a gun­shot wound to the head that en­tered be­hind the left ear and ex­ited through his right neck,” said Burge.

Po­lice re­cov­ered sev­eral firearms from the farm, in­clud­ing a Rus­sian-made Tokarev TT33 semi-au­to­matic pis­tol that had Boushie’s blood on the trig­ger, trig­ger guard and ham­mer. Stan­ley also tested pos­i­tive for gun­pow­der residue.

RCMP Cpl. Terry Her­oux testi- fied of­fi­cers did an ex­haus­tive search of the farm and the SUV but the bul­let that killed Boushie was not re­cov­ered.

“It’s been my ex­pe­ri­ence that bul­lets can change when they travel through things, in this case the vic­tim,” Her­oux told court. “Bul­lets can frag­ment. Bul­lets can some­times ric­o­chet off of dif­fer­ent things. You might only find sliv­ers of them.”

RCMP photos taken the night of the shoot­ing, en­tered as ex­hibits in court, show the SUV with its front left wheel worn down to the rim, doors open and a body un­der blan­kets on the ground.

Dark blood stains can be seen on the seat and dash­board. A bro­ken .22-cal­i­bre ri­fle was found next to the ve­hi­cle. Her­oux said the bar­rel was bent but there was a bul­let in the cham­ber and five in a mag­a­zine.

He couldn’t con­firm that the ri­fle had been in the SUV but said there were sev­eral .22-cal­i­bre shells found in­side.

Un­der cross-ex­am­i­na­tion, Her­oux said no fin­ger­prints were found on any of the vehicles on the Stan­ley farm or in­side the SUV. He also said po­lice were told where the weapon used in the shoot­ing was lo­cated, that it was stored safety and prop­erly li­censed in Stan­ley’s name.

Boushie, who was from the Red Pheas­ant First Na­tion, was a pas­sen­ger when the SUV drove onto the farm near Big­gar, Sask., on Aug. 9, 2016.

Sup­port­ers and fam­ily mem­bers of the ac­cused and of the vic­tim packed the court­room Tues­day. Boushie’s un­cle, Alvin Bap­tiste, brought an ea­gle feather with him to the pro­ceed­ings.

“I bring it in and this is for jus­tice,” he said dur­ing a break. “This is a sym­bolic sym­bol of First Na­tions peo­ple.”

He said his sis­ter Deb­bie Bap­tiste, who is Boushie’s mother, was at the court­house but left once Her­oux took the stand.

“She’s not sit­ting in the court­room to see those graphic pic­tures.”

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