Gerald Stanley due back in court on charges he improperly stored guns
Saskatchewan farmer will return to court next month on 2 counts of improperly storing firearms
The legal troubles of Gerald Stanley, the Saskatchewan farmer acquitted in the shooting death of Colten Boushie, are slated to carry over into provincial court next month.
Stanley, 56, still faces two charges of improperly storing firearms on his Biggar, Sask.-area farm where Boushie was killed.
Boushie, 22, was shot with a Russian-made, semi-automatic Tokarev pistol after he and four others drove onto Stanley's cattle farm in August 2016.
Stanley testified in the Battleford Court of Queen's Bench that the Tokarev accidentally went off while he was holding it near Boushie's head.
The farmer was charged with second-degree murder, but was acquitted by a jury.
7 firearms tied to charges
Stanley is scheduled to appear in North Battleford provincial court on March 19 on the gun charges.
Scott Spencer, who was Stanley's attorney during the murder trial, will again represent Stanley.
The charges are tied to seven of the 10 firearms found by the RCMP during a search of the Stanley farmhouse and shop two days after Boushie was shot.
RCMP found both the Tokarev and a Ruger Blackhawk revolver inside a black case in a farmhouse closet.
While the revolver is listed among the guns said to be improperly stored, the Tokarev connected to Boushie's death is not.
The Ministry of Justice wouldn't comment on why that is.
But Solomon Friedman, an Ottawa-based defence attorney with a focus on firearms law, said it could be argued the Tokarev wasn't being stored in any long-term sense. Stanley retrieved it from his workshop fearing the strangers on his farm might try to steal property or injure his wife and son,
"The Tokarev was in use. The fact that he put it down temporarily in there until the police got there means that it probably technically wasn't stored," said Solomon.
"You don't want it in front of you or you don't want to be holding it when the police arrive," he added. "It's not to shift blame or anything. It's just because you don't want there to be some terrible misunderstanding [with police]."
'Maybe a fine'
Friedman said it's possible Stanley could reach a plea agreement with Crown prosecutors before his court date.
And if he doesn't?
"In my experience, somebody living in a rural property who's otherwise licensed but they haven't complied with the letter of the law when it comes to storage, they tend to be looking at non-jail sentences, anywhere from a discharge to a suspended sentence, maybe a fine," Friedman said.
Others with Boushie that day not charged
Three of the people from Red Pheasant Cree Nation who drove onto Stanley's farmyard with Boushie were initially taken into custody in relation to a theft investigation.
RCMP spokesperson Staff Sgt. Rob Embree said in consultation with Crown, it was determined that no charges would be pursued against other occupants of the SUV.