Sask. farmer pleads guilty to un­safe stor­age of firearm

Winnipeg Free Press - - NEWS - LIAM RICHARDS / THE CANA­DIAN PRESS FILES

NORTH BAT­TLE­FORD, Sask. — A Saskatchewan farmer ac­quit­ted in the fa­tal shoot­ing of a young Indige­nous man is giv­ing up his guns and has been or­dered to pay a $3,000 fine af­ter plead­ing guilty to un­safe stor­age of an un­re­stricted firearm.

Ger­ald Stan­ley pleaded guilty Mon­day in North Bat­tle­ford pro­vin­cial court to the charge that in­volved six ri­fles and shot­guns. The Crown said none of them had trig­ger locks.

The Crown dropped a sec­ond count of un­safe stor­age of a re­stricted hand­gun.

Stan­ley was ac­quit­ted in the death of 22-year-old Colten Boushie, who was shot and killed on Stan­ley’s farm in Au­gust 2016.

With mem­bers and sup­port­ers of the Boushie fam­ily look­ing on, the judge ac­cepted a joint rec­om­men­da­tion for the fine and a 10-year ban on pos­sess­ing a firearm. Stan­ley is also for­feit­ing all of his guns, which the de­fence said are pretty com­mon in many ru­ral homes.

“Mr. Stan­ley doesn’t de­sire to own a gun ever again,” his lawyer Scott Spencer told court.

Fam­ily and sup­port­ers of the Boushie fam­ily shouted “murderer” as Stan­ley walked into the court­house to enter a plea.

Boushie’s brother, Jace Bap­tiste, said Mon­day it hurt to see Stan­ley walk­ing freely into court.

“If that was me or any other Indige­nous per­son that was stand­ing trial for mur­der or any kind of gun charges, we’d be on re­mand,” Bap­tiste said out­side court.

“We wouldn’t be out walk­ing freely in street clothes, smil­ing around. We’d be sit­ting in jail clothes, in­car­cer­ated.”

On his Face­book page, Bap­tiste said the sen­tence shows an “Indige­nous life is only worth $3,000 in the court of law.”

“I’m lost for words.”

Stan­ley left the court­house through the back door with deputy sher­iffs guard­ing the route out of the park­ing lot.

Boushie was one of five young peo­ple who drove onto Stan­ley’s farm near Big­gar in 2016. His friends tes­ti­fied they were look­ing for help with a flat tire.

Stan­ley told the trial he thought they were try­ing to steal an all-ter­rain ve­hi­cle. He tes­ti­fied he fired warn­ing shots to scare them away and the gun ac­ci­den­tally went off again when he went to pull the keys from their SUV.

Ger­ald Stan­ley faces a $3,000 fine.

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