‘Hanging over my family’s head’: Colten Boushie’s family awaiting jury verdict

“You know it’s time that my family starts to heal and move on,” says Boushie’s uncle.

BATTLEFORD, Sask. – A Saskatchewan jury will continue its deliberations Friday in the case of a farmer charged in the fatal shooting of a young Indigenous man.

The seven woman, five man jury was given control of the case late yesterday afternoon by Saskatchewan Chief Justice Martel Popescul.

“Your duty is to consult with one another and to deliberate with a view to reaching a just verdict. Your verdict must be based on the facts,” said Popescul.

“You should not start out by emphatically expressing your opinion or declaring your intention to stand for a particular verdict no matter what others may think or say.”

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.

“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,” Spencer said.

“The question is, if you were in Gerry’s boots, would you be expected to do anything different? It’s not criminal. It’s a tragedy, but it’s not criminal. You must acquit.”

Boushie’s uncle, Alvin Baptiste, told reporters that it’s now just a waiting game.

“I’m hoping the jury will do the right thing. Right now it’s pretty hard to predict where it’s going to go. They might decide second, manslaughter, acquittal, a hung jury so that’s where I’m at,” he said.

Baptiste said he just wants the whole case to be done with.

“It’s been hanging over my family’s head for quite a while. You know it’s time that my family starts to heal and move on.”

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

“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.

With the trial coming to an end the RCMP issued a statement reminding all people and parties to “conduct themselves in a peaceful and civil manner regardless of the outcome.”

RCMP also warned individuals can and will be held responsible for their communications, both in-person and on-line, and police will investigate any complaints of suspected criminal behaviour.

Contribute Button