Nova Scotia

N.S. man shot, run over by boat in fishing dispute, documents say

One of the suspects in the murder of Phillip Boudreau told police the victim was shot and then run down as he sat helpless in a stalled motor boat, according to documents obtained by CBC News.

Police statement describes chilling encounter on water with missing fisherman Phillip Boudreau

Documents obtained by CBC tell story of how lobster fisherman Phillip Boudreau died 2:59

One of the suspects in the murder of Phillip Boudreau told police the victim was shot and then run down as he sat helpless in a stalled motor boat, according to documents obtained by CBC News.

Boudreau's overturned boat was found at the mouth of Petit-de-Grat harbour early on the morning of June 1. The 43-year-old's body has not been recovered.

Three crewmen from the lobster boat Twin Maggies face second-degree murder charges in the case.

The investigator’s file said one of those crewmen, 65-year-old James Joseph Landry, gave statements to RCMP investigators shortly after his arrest on June 8.

Phillip Boudreau, 43, is missing and presumed dead. (Facebook)

CBC News has obtained a portion of the police file that includes the story Landry told. His claims have not been proven in court and may not be true, but they do form the basis for the case that is now before the courts.

In the statement, Landry claimed the crew of the Twin Maggies rounded the point off Petit-de-Grat early in the morning and spotted Boudreau in a small motor boat cutting their trap lines.

He claimed Boudreau had cut as many as 30 trap lines earlier in the season and had cut five or six before the Twin Maggies found him that morning.

Other fishermen in Petit-de-Grat have told CBC News that Boudreau was cutting lines as part of a long-standing territorial dispute on the water.

Landry told police that Boudreau waved his knife in the air, apparently mocking the crew of the Twin Maggies as they raced toward him.

He told investigators Boudreau had mocked him the same way with the knife at a convenience store one day earlier, demonstrating how he had cut the Twin Maggies' trap lines. He claimed Boudreau had been destroying other people's fishing gear for 10 years and he was fed up.

According to the statement, Landry said he was enraged and saw black when Boudreau mocked him from the smaller boat that morning. Landry told police five minutes is all it takes for something bad to happen and he described what took place in those few minutes on the water that morning.

He said he had his Winchester 30-30 rifle on the boat as he always did. Lobster crews often carry rifles to shoot seals if they are found damaging gear.

Landry said on this day, he used it on Boudreau.    

He said crewmember Craig Landry, 40, did what he was told and loaded the gun and gave it to him, as Capt. Dwayne Matthew Samson, 43, raced the Twin Maggies toward Boudreau's smaller boat.

Landry told investigators he began shooting when the Twin Maggies was 35 to 45 metres from Boudreau's boat and continued as they closed in.

He said Boudreau tried to race away but could not because his motor stalled. Landry said he may have hit the motor with a bullet, or perhaps the motor became entangled in the lines Boudreau was cutting.

Landry described Boudreau sitting in the small boat and turning white as he realized he was about to be shot.

Second shot hit Boudreau, say documents

He told investigators he hit Boudreau with one shot that knocked him over on his side in the boat, but that he kept shooting.

He said he fired four shots and believes the second shot hit Boudreau.

With Boudreau down in the small motor boat, Landry said the Twin Maggies ran it over a couple of times.

At first Landry told investigators he was at the wheel as they passed over Boudreau and his boat. Later, he told them Samson — his son in-law — was in control.

He said he lied to take the blame so he could protect Samson and Craig Landry, who are younger.

Landry took investigators back to Isle Madame and turned over the rifle he said he used.

Sources have told CBC News that police are now running ballistic tests, trying to match the rifle to a bullet found in Boudreau's overturned boat. Landry has told investigators the bullet will match.

Landry, Samson and Craig Landry are all set to appear briefly in a Port Hawkesbury courtroom Monday morning.

Dates are expected to be set at that time for preliminary hearings and bail applications.

All of the allegations contained in this story are based solely on untested claims made to police by Landry. None of this has been entered as evidence in any case and none of it has been challenged by defence lawyers involved in the case.