Sawyer Robison trial told about arsenal of weapons inside house

A farmhouse near Killam where police had a shootout with two armed men in 2012 looked like an arsenal after officers got inside, a witness testified in a Wetaskiwin courtroom Wednesday.

Man charged with RCMP shootings goes to trial today

8 years ago
Duration 1:20
Sawyer Robison was involved in an armed standoff with RCMP officers on his family farm near Killam, Alta.

A farm house near Killam where police had a shootout with two armed men in 2012 looked like an arsenal after officers got inside, a witness testified in a Wetaskiwin courtroom Wednesday.

RCMP constables Sheldon Shah and Sidney Gaudette were seriously wounded during the shootout. 

Bradley Clarke, who was Robison's uncle, was later found dead inside the farmhouse.

Two handguns were found on the floor next to his body.

In a bedroom, police found a Smith and Wesson revolver on the desk, a .338-calibre sniper rifle on the floor, two semi-automatic rifles on the bottom bunk bed, another rifle and a Glock handgun inside a holster on a top bunk, a loaded handgun on a shelf and two more loaded rifles in a cupboard above the bed.

A binder on the floor contained a special forces sniper training manual from the U.S. Army.

Those details emerged during the first day of testimony at the trial of Sawyer Robison, the man accused of trying to kill two RCMP officers in a wild shootout on Feb 7, 2012.

The first witness, RCMP Corp. Christine Bramhoff, took photographs of evidence found at the scene.

That evidence, she said, included two bullet holes in the picture window, a bullet fragment found in a pet water dish on the kitchen floor, and another fragment found near Clarke's naked body.

An expended .40-calibre cartridge was found near his head, and a police-issue 9-mm cartridge was found on the kitchen floor.

Police found a .45-calibre handgun on floor near Clarke's head, and a .40-calibre handgun near his hand.

Clarke's body remained in the house for more than two days before it was finally removed from scene by the medical examiner.

More than a dozen expended shell casings were found inside the house. Police also found a bulletproof vest in Clarke's bedroom.

​After the shootout, a massive manhunt was launched, and Robison was later taken into custody and charged with two counts of attempted murder.

Eight months later, the professional photographer and gun enthusiast was also charged with the murder of his uncle.

That charge was later dropped. An expert hired by Robison's legal team has said he thinks Clarke committed suicide.

A Camrose judge ruled in December 2013 there was enough evidence for Robison to stand trial for the shootings of the two officers.

​About a dozen Robison supporters were in court Wednesday, including his father and girlfriend.

The indictment read in court included eight charges:

two counts of attempted murder
two counts of assault;

two counts of endangering life by discharging a firearm
one count of use of a firearm
and one count of discharging a firearm.

Robison stood in prisoners box, next to defence lawyer Brian Beresh. As each charge was read into the record, Robison repeated the words: "I plead not guilty, your honour."