Saskatoon

'Jury is taking their oath very seriously': Deliberations stretch into 2nd day at Gerald Stanley murder trial

Jurors still deliberating fate of Saskatchewan farmer accused of killing Colten Boushie

February 09, 2018

Colten Boushie's mother, Debbie Baptiste, left, cousin Jade Tootoosis, right, and other family members are grateful to jury members for their service, says family lawyer Chris Murphy. (Jason Warick/CBC)

Relatives of the young man shot on a Saskatchewan farm are thankful to jurors for their service as deliberations continue for a second day at Gerald Stanley's murder trial, the lawyer for Colten Boushie's family says.

"The jury's job is to render a just verdict, so they're taking their job seriously … whatever verdict the jury comes up with in this case, I believe that based on the evidence that they've heard that it will be a reasonable verdict," criminal lawyer Chris Murphy said outside the Battleford courthouse where the case is being tried.

ADVERTISEMENT

"It's very apparent that the jury is taking their oath very seriously."

Boushie, 22, from the Red Pheasant First Nation, died of a gunshot wound to the head on Stanley's Biggar-area farm on Aug. 9, 2016. The 56-year-old was charged with second-degree murder and has pleaded not guilty.

Stanley's trial began with jury selection on Jan. 29, followed by testimony from eyewitnesses, experts and others, with the lawyers making their final arguments to the jury on Thursday.

Murphy said it seems clear jurors are taking their jobs seriously in the Gerald Stanley case. (Guy Quenneville/CBC)

Chief Justice of the Saskatchewan Court of Queen's Bench Martel Popescul then gave the jury final instructions. The judge said jurors could find Stanley not guilty, or guilty of either murder or manslaughter.

The jurors were then sent to deliberate just after 4 p.m. CST and stopped at nearly 9 p.m. They resumed deliberations at 9 a.m. on Friday.

The jury spent more than four hours listening to audio recordings of testimony given by Stanley and his son, Sheldon.

In its written correspondence to Popescul, the jury said it was particularly interested in hearing the segments leading up to and during the fatal shooting.

Follow CBC's live updates from the courthouse below. On mobile? Click here.

​Conditions for a murder conviction laid out

In his charge, Popescul noted the jury must be unanimous on any verdict. Popescul said that to convict Stanley of second-degree murder, the jury must find that he caused Boushie's death, it was done unlawfully, and he had the state of mind to commit murder.

The Crown and defence already agreed that the first element has been proved, Popescul said. The deliberations will focus on the second and third elements.

Either extreme recklessness or intention are necessary to prove murder, Popescul said. If someone was killed but it wasn't intentional and could not be foreseen, that may lead to a conviction on the lesser offence of manslaughter, he said.

"The difference between murder and manslaughter is not easy to define."

The judge said the jury must follow legal principles and not be swayed by passion, bias or public opinion.

He encouraged jurors to "use your collective common sense" to evaluate witness reliability, including whether their testimony was consistent with previous statements, and to weigh testimony based on whether it was observed or second hand.

Gerald Stanley, right, has pleaded not guilty to second-degree murder in the August 2016 death of Colten Boushie, left. Jurors are now deliberating Stanley's fate. (Facebook/The Canadian Press)

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Jason Warick
Reporter

Jason Warick is a reporter with CBC Saskatoon.

With files from the CBC's Raffy Boudjikanian
CBC's Journalistic Standards and Practices
Report Typo or Error