Lack of video evidence raised at Dagenais trial

The jury in the Saskatoon trial of the man accused of killing two Mounties is getting a look at some of the dozens of exhibits in the case, although video of a crucial confrontation isn't part of it.

The jury in the Saskatoon trial of the man accused of killing two Mounties is getting a look at some of the dozens of exhibits in the case, although video of a crucial confrontation isn't part of it.

Curt Dagenais, 44, is charged with the first-degree murder of Spiritwood RCMP constables Marc Bourdages and Robin Cameron in July 2006. He's also charged with the attempted murder of Const. Michelle Knopp, who was wounded during a shooting incident east of town.

The case is being heard by Queen's Bench Justice Gerald Allbright and a jury of six men and six women who were selected on Monday.

The Crown has laid out its version of events in an opening address to the jury and has supplied jury members with books of photographs taken at the scene of the shooting and other areas.

The Crown says after responding to a family dispute at the home of Dagenais's mother, Dagenais sped off and was pursued by three officers — Cameron, Bourdages and Knopp.

The chase ended in a remote area. Knopp arrived last and was injured. Cameron and Bourdages were found with gunshot wounds to the head and died a week later.

Pictures entered as evidence include a shot of a police vehicle perpendicular to Dagenais's blue half-ton truck. The picture shows the driver's side window of the police vehicle with a large circular hole through it.

Also entered as evidence is a Winchester rifle, which Crown prosecutor Scott Bartlett said had been located in a slough on a farm property. The evidence also includes empty .30-30 shell casings and 9-mm bullet fragments found in Dagenais's truck.

RCMP Cpl. Ken Palen, whose job it is identify and keep track of all the evidence collected from the crime scene, was asked by the Crown about some of that evidence on Wednesay.

But under cross-examination, Dagenais's lawyer Bill Roe concentrated on what was missing from the RCMP evidence — video of the confrontation.

Court heard one of the police vehicles was equipped with a dashboard video camera. However, there was no evidence it was used on July 7, 2006.

Palen said a tape found in the police vehicle was blank and was later destroyed.

The trial, which is expected to run three weeks, continues Thursday afternoon.