The Gerald Stanley trial is set to start next week and will feature tight security inside and outside the Court of Queen's Bench in Battleford, as well as a large pool of several hundred potential jurors.
Stanley is facing a second-degree murder charge related to the fatal shooting of Colten Boushie in Aug. 2016.
The Court has advised Battlefords and area residents planning to attend the trial that there is limited seating available in the court room for the event, scheduled to start Monday at Court of Queen's Bench in Battleford.
For those who do attend, they will need to go through airport-style security screening that will be in place at the court house, and at the Alex Dillabough Centre for the jury selection. Courts of Saskatchewan communications officer Dawn Blaus is reminding anyone planning to attend the trial to be prepared for a brief wait before they will be able to enter the court house.
During the preliminary hearing in the case, which was held at North Battleford provincial court in April 2017, police had erected barricades at each end of the road in front of the court house on the first day and part of the second day of the hearing.
A Boushie family member, Jade Tootoosis, had expressed concerns at that time about heavy police presence, saying it was unnecessary, and that it could be somewhat intimidating to the family to see so many police officers inside the court house, in particular.
But Boushie's uncle, Alvin Baptiste, said Tuesday he did understand the RCMP's need to block traffic at the preliminary hearing for public safety, since a large number of people were crossing the road between the parking lot and the courthouse in North Battleford, so it seemed justified in this case.
"They need to be there," Baptiste said.
As far as police security for the trial at the Queen's Bench building in Battleford, RCMP F Division Communications Unit Staff Sgt. Rob Embree said in a statement police can't disclose their plans for security reasons.
"The RCMP is responsible for the safety and security of all parties at and around the court house (Provincial Court Security manages security inside the courthouse). We take that responsibility seriously and, as with all our security operations, determine the level of our presence by conducting a thorough risk assessment and deploying resources accordingly," he said. "We continually evaluate and adjust our resource allocation based on the needs of the situation in order to ensure public safety."
Also, a Queen's Bench clerk confirmed that 750 people have been summoned as potential jurors for jury duty for the trial that is scheduled to run until Feb. 15. Not all 750 are expected to attend the selection process. A total of 12 jurors and two alternatives will be selected for the jury for the trial.
The allegations against Stanley have not been proven in court.
Editor's note: As this case is still before the courts, no comments will be allowed.
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