Gerald Stanley looking for acquittal but Crown says he’s guilty of murdering Colten Boushie

BATTLEFORD, Sask. – The defence lawyer for a Saskatchewan farmer charged in a fatal shooting says there’s no evidence that he meant to kill a young Indigenous man, but the Crown says it’s unlikely his gun went off accidentally and he’s guilty of murder.

Gerald Stanley, 56, is charged with second-degree murder in the death of 22-year-old Colten Boushie from the Red Pheasant First Nation in August 2016.

Court has heard that Boushie was shot in the head with a handgun while he was sitting in the driver’s seat of an SUV that had been driven onto Stanley’s farm near Biggar, Sask.

Defence lawyer Scott Spencer said in his closing arguments Thursday that the Crown must prove beyond a reasonable doubt that Stanley fired at Boushie intentionally if the murder charge is to stick.

Spencer is arguing that Boushie’s death was a tragic accident.

“There’s no evidence he (Stanley) pulled the trigger,” Spencer told jurors in Battleford, Sask., on Thursday.

The trial has already heard that the farmer fired warning shots into the air and then reached into the SUV for the ignition keys when he says his gun accidentally went off.

“A lot of people would have assaulted the driver and gotten physical,” Spencer said. “He reaches in (to the car) … and turns the vehicle off. The gun goes off at the same time.

“Bottom line is Gerry was in a nightmare situation. He didn’t have any intention of hurting anyone and certainly no intention of shooting anyone. The question is, if you were in Gerry’s boots, would you be expected to do anything different?”

The lawyer said the shooting was a freak accident.

“It’s a tragedy, but it’s not criminal,” he told the jury. “Some people aren’t going to be happy. You have to do what is right based on the evidence you heard in this courtroom. You must acquit.”

Crown prosecutor Bill Burge disputed that Stanley believed the firearm was empty and that the gun could have had a misfire, or hang fire.

“It’s a very rare circumstance,” said Burge, who pointed to the evidence of gun experts. “He’s told you something that is demonstrably not true because there was another round in that clip.”

Burge argued Stanley handled the firearm carelessly.

“You can’t believe what Gerald Stanley said. The only inference is that it was pulled. Was it pulled intentionally? Did it go off accidentally?” Burge said.

“In either event ladies and gentlemen, if it was pulled intentionally, I am suggesting that’s murder.”

The trial has heard that the SUV that Boushie and four others were in that day had a flat tire. The driver testified the group had been drinking and tried to break into a truck on a neighbouring farm, but went to the Stanley property in search of help with the tire.

Stanley testified he and his son heard the SUV drive into the farmyard and then heard one of their all-terrain vehicles start. Both he and his son thought it was being stolen.

At one point, court was told, the SUV hit another vehicle on the property and Stanley said he believed his wife was being run over.

The chief of the Red Pheasant First Nation issued a statement on Wednesday that said residents were anxiously waiting for the outcome of the trial.

Chief Clint Wuttunee said Boushie’s death has wounded his family, traumatized the people he was with that day and affected everyone on the reserve.

“The untimely death of yet another First Nations youth has had a far-reaching impact on the people of Red Pheasant First Nation and in the First Nations community.”

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14 thoughts on “Gerald Stanley looking for acquittal but Crown says he’s guilty of murdering Colten Boushie

  1. if he had no intention on shooting anyone then why did he pick up the gun in the first place ? and why did he try and stop them even after they were trying to leave ?

  2. if he had no intention on shooting anyone then why did he pick up the gun in the first place ? and why did he try and stop them even after they were trying to leave ?

  3. The gun was faulty he claims but still used it. Who uses faulty guns while supposedly in a dangerous situation? I call Bullshit and if he gets acquitted that is pure WHITE PRIVILEGE. If the jury is smart they will find him guilty.

  4. The gun was faulty he claims but still used it. Who uses faulty guns while supposedly in a dangerous situation? I call Bullshit and if he gets acquitted that is pure WHITE PRIVILEGE. If the jury is smart they will find him guilty.

  5. We must do right by all people yet mostly for the spirit of this innocent young man Colten Boushie….you can not kill someone no matter the reason…and expect to walk away free!

  6. why would anyone go back into their house and get a gun instead of calling the police? No reasonable person would do that.

    1. The police were called Bill from both the Foughy farm (where the group first tried steal a truck) and left a broken rifle butt in the process and the Stanley farm (after the shooting) whereupon it took the police nearly 1/2 an hour to arrive.

  7. We must do right by all people yet mostly for the spirit of this innocent young man Colten Boushie….you can not kill someone no matter the reason…and expect to walk away free!

    1. Exactly and why would Gerald Stanley turn off the vehicle if he wanted them to leave his property?

  8. why would anyone go back into their house and get a gun instead of calling the police? No reasonable person would do that.

    1. The police were called Bill from both the Foughy farm (where the group first tried steal a truck) and left a broken rifle butt in the process and the Stanley farm (after the shooting) whereupon it took the police nearly 1/2 an hour to arrive.

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