‘There’s a lot of emotion’: Family of Cree-Métis hunters react to guilty verdict

Gina Levasseur, the sister of one of the men killed in March 2020, says despite the trial being over and a guilty verdict delivered, the situation is still challenging for the entire family.

“There are a lot of feelings here,” she tells APTN News. “There is a lot of emotion in our family running deep. It’s bittersweet.”

A jury in Edmonton heard that Jake Sansom and his uncle, Maurice Cardinal, were moose hunting in March 2020.

They were driving to another family member’s home when they stopped briefly on the approach to the driveway at Roger Bilodeau’s farm near Glendon, Alta.

Bilodeau pursued the men in his truck and called his son Anthony and told him to bring a gun.

Video of the events that night including how the two were shot was captured by a closed-circuit camera.

Sansom was shot once in the chest and Cardinal was hit three times in the shoulder.

The Cree-Métis hunters were found dead on the road the next morning.

The jury started deliberating on Monday and brought back a verdict late Tuesday afternoon.

Anthony Bilodeau was convicted of second-degree murder in the death of Morris Cardinal and convicted of manslaughter in the death of Jacob Sansom.

Roger Bilodeau was convicted of two counts of manslaughter.

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Jury finds Alberta men guilty of murder and manslaughter of Métis hunters 

The Métis hunters’ family says while the guilty verdicts bring some justice – they’re still dealing with their pain.

“It hasn’t quite hit us 100 per cent yet fully. We are still reeling from the fact Jacob and Morris have been taken from us,” says Levasseur. “Unfortunately, it ends in the court soon and sentencing will be in the fall, but it doesn’t end for us because we go home and our family has been taken.

“It’s no longer the same. Our children are without their elders, their knowledge keepers, and there is a giant empty space in our hearts where these men were.”