Gerald Stanley will be in Battleford court for the first time in months on Monday for preliminary hearings on whether he’ll face trial for the killing of Colten Boushie.
The 54-year-old farmer is charged with second-degree murder in the shooting death of Boushie on the Stanley ranch near Biggar, Sask. on Aug. 9, 2016.
The proceedings will be under a publication ban, but evidence will be laid out by the crown prosecutor to determine the trial will move forward.
Stanley also faces weapons charges from the incident.
Chief among the evidence expected to be discussed is the SUV Boushie was in during the incident.
A lawyer for the 22-year-old’s family, Chris Murphy, told 650 CKOM in October the 2003 Ford Escape had allegedly been mishandled, moved to a towing company lot in Saskatoon before the defence team for Stanley could have it independently analyzed.
Murphy said it could lead Stanley’s lawyers to push for dismissal of the entire case.
“It’s a tremendous problem for the investigation and the prosecution as far as I’m concerned,” Murphy said at the time.
“It’s a tremendous problem for the Boushie family who just wants to sleep well at night knowing that this investigation and prosecution are being conducted in a forthright and competent manner.”
Another central aspect of the proceedings is the two different accounts of the shooting.
Eric Meechance, a friend who was with Boushie at the time, told media they had spent the day at the river near Maymont, Sask. with a friend and their girlfriends.
On their way back to Red Pheasant First Nation, Meechance said they got a flat tire and pulled on to Stanley’s ranch to ask for help.
He said they were attacked almost immediately. After they crashed the vehicle in an attempt to get away, Meechance said he ran away and heard several shots as he escaped.
But an RCMP document used to obtain more evidence paints a different picture.
An information to obtain a warrant (ITO) filed by police and obtained by the Globe and Mail suggests Boushie and his friends had been on a neighbouring farm prior to rolling onto Stanley’s property.
The document alleges the group attempted to steal vehicles and items from the neighbouring yard, at one point using the stock of a rifle to try and break in.
They then arrived at Stanley’s farm, allegedly starting up the family’s ATV before the farmer yelled at them.
The ITO describes testimony from Stanley’s son Sheldon, who says the SUV swerved at them before crashing.
Stanley’s account is also included in the document. He allegedly said he went to the shed and loaded one of his handguns, then came out and fired two shots in the air.
Kiora Wuttunnee, Boushie’s girlfriend, told police Stanley walked up to the SUV and shot Boushie in the back of the head.
None of the accounts have been proven in court.
Stanley’s preliminary hearings are scheduled to continue through to April 7.