'No way justified:' Murder trial told farmer, son assumed Metis hunters were thieves
'No way justified:' Murder trial told farmer, son assumed Metis hunters were thieves
A Crown prosecutor has told a murder trial that an Alberta farmer and his son followed and shot two Metis hunters assuming they were thieves who had earlier driven onto the family's property.
A lawyer for the farmer says the killings were in self defence.
The jury trial began in Edmonton on Monday for Roger Bilodeau, 58, and his son Anthony Bilodeau, 33, who have pleaded not guilty to second-degree murder in the deaths of Jacob Sansom and Maurice Cardinal.
Sansom, 39, and his 59-year-old uncle were found dead on a rural road near Glendon, northeast of Edmonton, in March 2020.
Prosecutor Jordan Kerr said in his opening statement that Sansom had driven from his home in southern Alberta and dropped his three children off at his mother's home in Bonnyville. He and his uncle then went moose hunting so they could fill the family's freezer with meat.
Kerr said the older Bilodeau saw the hunters' pickup truck slowly go by his home,and it looked like one that had been on his property that day. While following the hunters in his truck, Bilodeau phoned his son and asked him to follow behind and to bring a gun, said the prosecutor.
Security footage from a nearby gas station shows the Bilodeau men in their trucks following Sansom and Cardinal in their truck, Kerr added.
Roger Bilodeau and the hunters first stopped their trucks on the road.
Anthony Bilodeau arrived soon after. Within 26 seconds, he shot Sansom, then shot Cardinal as the hunter was walking to his truck, said Kerr.
The Bilodeaus then drove away.
A motorist called RCMP after finding Sansom dead in the middle of the road and Cardinal's body in a ditch.
Autopsies determined that Sansom was shot once in the chest and Cardinal was shot three times in his shoulder, said Kerr.
“These were in no way justified killings,” Kerr said.
“Anthony Bilodeau freely made the decision to arm himself and to join in a pursuit on a public highway, simply because his father had suspected somebody might be trying to steal from him.
“Roger Bilodeau clearly anticipated having a confrontation at the end of the chase, when he recruited his son Anthony Bilodeau into joining the pursuit and bringing a firearm.”
Defence lawyer Shawn Gerstel said Roger Bilodeau followed the hunters because a similar truck had gone onto his property earlier in the day while his wife was home alone. There were also concerns about property crime in the area.
Gerstel said Anthony Bilodeau shot at the hunters because Sansom had smashed a window of his father's truck and punched his father multiple times.
“Along with the video, you will see the shirt that Roger wore that evening. The collar of Roger's shirt is torn half off. Mr. Sansom's blood was located on three distinct areas of Roger's shirt,” Gerstel said.
“(Roger Bildoeau) asked for a gun for protection because he didn't know who he was dealing with.”
Gerstel also said the hunters were drunk, loud and obnoxious. He said a medical examiner is to testify that Sansom had a blood alcohol level that was nearly threetimes the legal driving limit, and Cardinal's blood alcohol limit was nearly two times the limit.
James Sansom testified he had never seen his brother miss a target during a hunt, and he was also a talented martial artist who was good at de-escalating situations.
The trial is to continue Tuesday.
This report by The Canadian Press was first published May 16, 2022.
Edmonton Top Stories
CTVNews.ca Top Stories
Hospitals overwhelmed by the pandemic’s onslaught are still facing a number of challenges, causing unprecedented wait times in emergency rooms across the country.
CTVNews.ca asked Canadians to share their travel horror stories as cancelled flights, delays and lost luggage throw a wrench in Canadians' summer travel plans, due in part to staffing shortages at Canadian airports. Some report sleeping at airports and others say it took days to get to or from a destination.
Twin brothers in their early 20s were responsible for the shooting that injured numerous police officers at a bank in Saanich, B.C., earlier this week, RCMP alleged Saturday.
A new report from TD says Canadian home sales could fall by nearly one-quarter on average this year and remain low into 2023.
Researchers in British Columbia say the province's endangered southern resident orcas have not been getting enough food for years, with some of the worst bouts of hunger occurring since 2018.
It's been said no one's success is complete without failure, but a new international exhibit in Calgary is proving that even some of the most talented innovators had some of the worst ideas for consumers.
Animal rescue groups are criticizing a new policy by the Canadian Food Inspection Agency that will ban the import of dogs from more than 100 countries.
The Canada Day long weekend saw gas prices plummet in parts of the country, but the relief at the pumps may not stay for very long, analysts say. The decreases come after crude oil prices slid in June following the U.S. Federal Reserve's interest rate hikes, sparking fears of a recession.
A law outlawing any dealings with the Taliban, which charities complain is impeding their ability to help needy Afghans, could be adjusted by the federal government to give more flexibility to aid agencies.
Calgary police have a man in custody after a Calgary Fire member was hurt by a stolen vehicle Saturday afternoon.
Alberta Premier Jason Kenney has indicated his United Conservative government will reveal details next week about additional support to help people deal with high inflation.
A man is recovering in hospital after falling down a steep embankment in the city's southwest Saturday afternoon.
After two years without a full-scale event, the Saskatchewan Jazz Festival is officially underway and artists are looking forward to performing live again.
The Regina Farmers’ Market at Victoria Square had an atmosphere like no other Saturday morning with folk music blaring from the main stage.
As Canadians are feeling the urge to spend on summer fun, one financial advisor recommends being realistic and cautious this year.
Mounties on Vancouver Island have publicly identified the two gunmen killed during a shootout with police at a bank in Saanich on Tuesday as 22-year-old twin brothers Mathew and Isaac Auchterlonie.
A 50-year-old New Brunswick woman is facing an impaired driving charge following a head-on collision with a fully marked RCMP vehicle in the village of Tracadie.
A 32-year-old man has been arrested after he allegedly drove into an RCMP vehicle before fleeing from police.
Staffing shortages, hospital closures to blame for long wait times at Maritime emergency departments
Longer than usual wait times are being felt at emergency departments across the Maritimes this long weekend.
This man arrived from Calgary 16 days ago. He is still looking for his bags at Toronto Pearson airport
As unclaimed luggage continue to pile up at Pearson International Airport, one local resident has been looking for his bags for 16 days after arriving in Toronto.
Ontario is not yet allowing most adults under the age of 60 to get a fourth COVID-19 vaccine shot, prompting one doctor to prepare legal action to get the province to widen eligibility.
The pedestrian who was struck and killed by an alleged drunk driver in downtown Toronto on Canada Day has been identified by his family, remembering him as someone with a great sense of humour and a “huge heart.”
The number of Quebec households without a roof over their heads after July 1 moving day is currently 600. That number "could continue to rise in the coming days," warned Véronique Laflamme, spokesperson for the Quebec housing advocacy group - FRAPRU, at a news conference in Montreal on Saturday.
With COVID-19 numbers once again on the rise in Quebec, some doctors fear a serious crunch could be right around the corner.
The hunt for affordable housing is becoming increasingly challenging in Montreal, and advocates say this is especially true for pet owners.
One by one, mourners lined up patiently to lay flowers at the home of 50-year-old Anne-Marie Ready and 15-year-old Jasmine Ready, the Ottawa mother and daughter killed in Alta Vista last week.
NEW THIS MORNING
NEW THIS MORNING | 14 festivals and events in the Ottawa area this summer
With Canada Day festivities in the books, it's time to look ahead to the many festivals and events happening in the Ottawa area throughout the summer.
Mayor Jim Watson says the city of Ottawa and Ottawa police were better prepared and had more resources to police the capital for the Canada Day long weekend, as a sense of normalcy returned to downtown Ottawa and the Parliamentary Precinct after Canada's 155th birthday.
A man is facing charges after he set off fireworks early Saturday morning in Waterloo. "He was holding the fireworks in his hand and then projecting them at businesses and pedestrians," said police.
Hundreds of drivers are hoping to crash their way to the top prize at the Billy Bash Demolition Derby in Burford this weekend.
Tre Ford, the former University of Waterloo football star, made history at the Edmonton Elks game on Friday night.
A unique scavenger hunt in Sudbury aims to get people out exploring nature and enjoying the outdoors. The event includes an educational element about Indigenous traditions and teachings, in particular the Seven Grandfather Teachings.
A Toronto man is getting set to become the first disabled athlete to cross Lake Superior on a paddleboard. Mike Shoreman, who made a stop in Sault Ste. Marie Friday, has already crossed Lake Erie, and most recently crossed Lake Huron. He is raising money for youth mental wellness.
All lanes of Highway 11 at Micro Tower Rd in the Pagwa area near Calstock, between Kapuskasing and Longlac, have reopened follwing a tractor trailer collision.
A man from Shamattawa First Nation is being treated for serious injuries after an RCMP officer-involved shooting Saturday afternoon.
Longstanding staff shortages in rural emergency rooms are continuing to create problems, with some being forced to close or cut their hours.
Winnipeg police confirmed that one man was stabbed and another was sprayed with bear mace during an incident at The Forks on Friday night.
The provincial housing agency is keeping tight-lipped in the wake of troubling questions around whether some of the most vulnerable people in British Columbia are unauthorized to use cooling systems already installed in their homes.
Some animal rescue groups fear countless dogs will die of starvation or be killed if they are not allowed entry into Canada as a result of a recently announced policy.
An Instagram account belonging to one of the two gunmen killed in a shootout at a bank in Saanich, B.C., this week paints a picture of a young man who believed gun ownership was a necessary response to government "tyranny."
An online fundraiser to benefit police officers injured during the shootout at a Saanich, B.C. bank earlier this week has raised more than $75,000 in less than two days.