Defence expected to make opening statement today in Stanley Trial

By battlefordsNOW Staff
February 5, 2018 - 9:07am Updated: February 5, 2018 - 10:20am

Defence lawyer Scott Spencer is expected to deliver his opening address to the jury this morning in the ongoing murder trial of Gerald Stanley.

Stanley, 56, pleaded not guilty to a charge of second-degree murder in connection with the Aug. 2016 shooting death of 22-year-old Colten Boushie, a resident of Red Pheasant First Nation. His trial began last Monday at the Court of Queen's Bench in Battleford.

Crown Prosecutor William Burge closed his case against Stanley on Friday, Feb. 2 after calling eight witnesses over four days of testimony. During the Crown's case, the jurors heard from several RCMP investigators, Stanley's son Sheldon and firearms expert Greg Williams. The jury also heard evidence from Eric Meechance, Cassidy Cross-Whitstone and Belinda Jackson, who were riding with Boushie in a damaged Ford Escape when the group arrived at Stanley's farmyard.

In an unusual procedure, Spencer called his first witness Friday before delivering his opening address. Spencer was granted leave to delay his opening statement because of issues with witness scheduling. The first defence witness was John Ervin, who became the second firearms expert to testify at the trial.

Much of the evidence given by both Ervin and Williams centred around a shell casing found inside the SUV and matched to Stanley's Tokarev pistol. The casing was found to have an unusual deformity, which both experts said could have been caused by a misfire.

Three weeks were initially set aside for the trial, though on Friday Chief Justice Martel Popescul told the jury the trial is proceeding quickly and may conclude sooner than expected. battlefordsNOW will have a reporter in the courtroom throughout the trial. Follow along for live-tweets @battlefordsnow and the latest coverage.

EDITOR'S NOTE: This story has been closed to commenting because the matter is still before the court.


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Boushie shooting was 'freak accident', Stanley will testify: Defence

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