The Chief Justice of Saskatchewan's Court of Queen's Bench will preside over the murder trial of Gerald Stanley, the Biggar area farmer accused of shooting and killing Colten Boushie.
Chief Justice Martel Popescul is from Bengough and is a graduate of the University of Regina and University of Saskatchewan. He was appointed as the Chief Justice in 2011.
Pre-trial motions begin this week in advance on Stanley's second-degree murder trial, which begins in late January. He has pleaded not guilty.
Boushie, 22, was shot and killed on Aug. 9, 2016 on Stanley's farm yard near Biggar.
Boushie's death inflamed racial tensions across the province. At the Battlefords court house Monday, security was tight and emotions were high.
Several members of Boushie's close family filled the court room. Outside of court they were emotional, with one supporter chanting "Justice for Colten."
RCMP has been accused of showing bias
According to police, Boushie was in a car with four other people when he was shot on Stanley's rural property.
The RCMP was accused of showing bias by the Federation of Sovereign Indigenous Nations in the initial media release issued about the shooting.
Social media exploded with rumours and posts that wished violence on Boushie's friends and Indigenous people in general.
In the aftermath of the shooting, Premier Brad Wall urged calm.