Bathurst officers charged in fatal shooting will learn fate Friday

​A New Brunswick Court of Queen's Bench justice will rule Friday on whether to reverse a lower court decision not to try two Bathurst police officers in the shooting death of Michel Vienneau.

Manslaughter charges were dropped in Michel Vienneau case for lack of evidence but Crown wants that reversed

Charges against Bathurst Police Force constables Patrick Bulger, left, and Mathieu Boudreau were dropped in February after a judge decided there wasn't enough evidence to proceed to trial. (Gabrielle Fahmy/CBC)

A New Brunswick Court of Queen's Bench justice will rule Friday on whether to reverse a lower court decision not to try two Bathurst police officers in the shooting death of Michel Vienneau.

The 51-year-old Tracadie businessman was shot and killed in a Via Rail parking lot in Bathurst after getting off a train from Montreal in January 2015.

Police were attempting to arrest Vienneau, acting on a tip that he was carrying "a load of drugs." 

That tip proved to be false.

Charges of manslaughter against constables Patrick Bulger, 38, and Mathieu Boudreau, 28, were dropped in February after a judge found the Crown had not presented enough evidence against them at the preliminary inquiry.

Michel Vienneau, pictured here with partner Annick Basque, was fatally shot by Bathurst police. (Facebook)

New Brunswick public prosecution services requested a judicial review by the Court of Queen's Bench, seeking to have the decision by Judge Anne Dugas-Horsman overruled, arguing she failed to consider all of the relevant evidence at the preliminary inquiry and committed a jurisdictional error.

Dugas-Horsman had ruled the prosecution failed to meet the threshold that the two constables engaged in an illegal act when they attempted to arrest Vienneau.

Court of Queen's Bench Justice Tracey DeWare heard arguments in Bathurst in late August, with Bulger, Boudreau, and about two dozen of Vienneau's relatives and friends in the courtroom.

The Via Rail train station in Bathurst was cordoned off for a week after Vienneau was shot in January 2015. (Bridget Yard/CBC)

DeWare could uphold the lower court decision, which would end the prosecution, or commit Bulger, of Beresford, and Boudreau, of Dunlop, to trial.

Bulger and Boudreau were each facing charges of manslaughter with a weapon, assault with a weapon and unlawfully pointing a firearm.

They were both suspended with pay from the police force after the charges were laid.

About the Author

Gabrielle Fahmy


Gabrielle Fahmy is a reporter based in Moncton. She's been a journalist with the CBC since 2014.