Mayerthorpe Inquiry

Aptn National News

Alberta’s crown prosecutor says nothing could have been done to prevent the murders of four members of the Royal Canadian Mounted Police in Mayerthorpe, Alberta.

But Gordon Wong still faced some hard questions from victim’s families at the Stoney Plain Courthouse regarding the 2005 tragedy. The main one being, with his rocky police record, why wasn’t James rosco deemed a dangerous offender.

Wong says Rosco didn’t fit the profile.

“I don’t think he went through the cracks, he was not at any time a candidate in my view for dangerous offender application.”

The families feel differently, but Wong says he still believes Rosco, who hunted down and killed RCMP Officers Peter Schiemann, Anthony Gordon, Lionide Johnston and Brock Myrol before turning the gun on himself, was prosecuted to the full extent of the law.

Rosco had a long history of violent related charges, some going back to the 1970’s. But he was only convicted twice.

Wong continued with his testimony saying Rosco’s record wasn’t that bad adding that there are “many people in Canada with worse.”

“I think everyone wants an explanation or some sort of answer as to couldn’t have this been avoided and I think that’s the primary issue for people, which is could this have been prevented? But the fact is, criminal acts happen and no one knows they will occur.”

Wong’s 2005 report on Rosco’s prosecution history shows he was charged many times with violent offences from breaking and entering, assault, assault with a weapons, impersonating police and sexual assault.  He was aquitted or charges were dropped in the majority of cases. Wong says “many times witnesses were deemed unreliable or never showed up.”

Wong went on to say the courts never had the kinds of findings that would have found Rosco a dangerous offender which would have prevented this tragedy.

“He was at liberty in March 2005 because our rules of law put him in a position where he was free to be at large. There was nothing that we could do to hold him.”

But for the families of the slain officers, the question of ‘what if’ will always remain.

The families say they’re not ready to talk about the hearing yet because the issue is still too painful.

The inquiry resumes on February 1st.