A judge has determined there is enough evidence to send Gerald Stanley to trial on a charge of second-degree murder in the death of Colten Boushie.
The ruling came down Thursday, the last day of Stanley’s preliminary hearing.
“I’m happy with how it turned out,” Boushie’s brother, William, said outside North Battleford Provincial Court.
Boushie, 22, was shot and killed on Stanley’s farm near Biggar, Sask. on Aug. 9, 2016.
Stanley, 55, also faces two charges of unsafe storage of a firearm.
His case was set to go to trial at the next sitting of Battleford Court of Queen’s Bench.
Speaking after the hearing, Crown prosecutor Bill Burge said Fall 2017 was the earliest the trial was likely to go ahead.
Preliminary hearings require a lower threshold of evidence than a full criminal trial.
The allegations against Stanley have not yet been proven in court.
Rally held ahead of ruling
A large crowd gathered outside the courthouse Thursday morning to sing and drum as a show of support for the victim’s family.
Boushie’s cousin, Jade Tootoosis, spoke to reporters while mom Debbie Baptiste held a photo of her slain son.
“Colten’s death must have a purpose. Will his death reveal the deep divide that exists between many in this province?” Jade Tootoosis, Boushie’s cousin, told media.
“It has also brought us here, to this courthouse, where we come together to ask for a fair trial for everyone involved.”
Boushie’s brother William said the crowd support lifted his family’s spirit.
“I’m pretty sure my brother is looking down happy, satisfied his community is paying it forward to him like he did for them,” he said.
The killing of Boushie, who was from the Red Pheasant First Nation, ignited racial tension in Saskatchewan.
Prior to the preliminary hearing, which started Monday, there had been large rallies outside court when Stanley made previous court appearances.
“We, Colten’s family, hope that this preliminary hearing – and the issues that it raises about our relationships with each other – will generate further discussion and dialogue to help us bring our communities together,” Tootoosis said.
RCMP have been present throughout the preliminary hearing this week, with members blocking off the road in front of the courthouse.
650 CKOM reporter Chris Vandenbreekel was in North Battleford for the Stanley hearing.