Nova Scotia

Phillip Boudreau murdered over lobster, argues Crown

Fisherman Phillip Boudreau's death was murder for lobster, not a lapse of judgment, Crown prosecutors in Nova Scotia allege.

James Joseph Landry, 67, faces 2nd-degree murder charge

Philip Boudreau disappeared in June 2013 and is presumed dead. Four people have been charged in connection with the case. (Facebook)

Phillip Boudreau's death was murder for lobster, not a lapse of judgment, a Nova Scotia court was told Thursday.

Crown attorney Steve Drake made the statement during opening arguments at the trial of James Joseph Landry, 67, who is accused of killing the Petit-de-Grat fisherman.

Landry, from Little Anse, N.S., is charged with second-degree murder. Three others, including members of Landry's family, also face charges in connection to the Boudreau case. Their trials have not been held yet.

Boudreau, 43, disappeared on June 1, 2013. His overturned boat, a skiff, was found in the Petit-de-Grat harbour, but his body has never been recovered.

In court today, RCMP Cpl. Denzil George Fraser Firth ​said diving teams spent more than a week looking for Boudreau's body. Helicopter crews and the navy also helped with the search.

Firth identified a teal baseball cap that was found on the shore near the Petit-de-Grat harbour on June 1, 2013, which is believed to be Boudreau's.

Margaret Rose Boudreau said she saw her brother on the day of his disappearance and said that was the hat he was wearing.

Landry is among four people who have been charged in the case. All are connected to the Twin Maggies, a lobster boat from the area.

On the day of Boudreau's disappearance, the Crown says, three people were on board the Twin Maggies: James Joseph Landry, Dwayne Samson and Craig Claude Landry.

A person who buys lobster from the Twin Maggies testified he that he would see the crew nearly every day for two months each year and that the vessel would return to port between 10:30 a.m. and 11 a.m. On June 1, 2013, James Nathan Boudreau of Premium Seafoods said the Twin Maggies returned to port around noon.

Prosecutors told court the crew shot at Philip Boudreau four times, ran over his boat several times and then tied his body to an anchor, which was dropped overboard. The Crown did not elaborate on Thursday on how the killing may have been tied to lobster.

According to an agreed statement of facts read into the court record, a bullet recovered from Boudreau's boat came from a gun that was later found at the D'Escousse home of Dwayne and Carla Samson.

Dwayne Samson, 44, a Twin Maggies crew member, is charged with second-degree murder in Boudreau's death, while his wife is charged with being an accessory after the fact. Carla Samson owns the Twin Maggies and is James Landry's daughter.

After Philip Boudreau was killed, the Crown says the Twin Maggies crew continued fishing.

Twin Maggies crew member Craig Claude Landry of Petit-de-Grat is also charged with being an accessory after the fact.

He originally faced more severe charges, but helped investigators with a re-enactment of what happened to Boudreau.

The Crown has called eight witnesses so far at the trial in Port Hawkesbury, and plans to call 24 in all.

The defence hasn't presented its side yet.

The trial is being held in front of Nova Scotia Supreme Court Chief Justice Joseph Kennedy and a jury of 12 people.

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