A young man who was in the same SUV as Colten Boushie admitted he lied to police and to court during his testimony at Gerald Stanley’s second-degree murder trial on Thursday.
Cassidy Cross, 18, was grilled by defence lawyer Scott Spencer on inconsistencies between the teen’s statements through the court’s entire morning session.
Cross had previously told police he only consumed three shots of alcohol when he and Colten Boushie went to the riverbank near Maymont, Sask. with several friends to swim. On Thursday, he admitted to having around 30 shots.
Cross said despite his intoxicated state, he was the driver of the grey Ford Escape for the entire day. He confirmed earlier testimony about the SUV’s front wheel, saying it was damaged after hitting a culvert while leaving the river.
He conceded to Spencer that he and Eric Meechance, who testified on Wednesday, went to a farm near Stanley’s property to steal a truck. He said he tried to use the butt of his .22-calibre rifle, but the gun broke.
Previously, Cross told police the firearm wasn’t his, and it was Meechance who attempted to break in.
“Why all those lies?” Spencer asked.
“I was selfish at the time. I was thinking only about myself,” Cross replied.
Cross said he must have snapped out of his blackout when the gun broke, because he realized, “what I was doing was wrong” and decided to focus on getting help for their flat tire.
He contended he pulled onto Stanley’s property with the intention of asking for help. However, the prospect of getting assistance ended when he said Meechance jumped on a quad near the shed and tried to start it “six or seven times.”
Meechance told court on Wednesday it was Cross who was on the quad.
“I wasn’t there to steal,” Cross told court. “I was a bit embarrassed actually (by Meechance).”
Cross said he noticed Stanley and his son, Sheldon, working on a fence and intended to walk up and ask for assistance. When the quad started though, he said they began yelling and he jumped back in the SUV.
He said when a hammer hit the windshield, glass went in his face, and as he tried to escape the yard their damaged wheel pulled them towards a blue Ford Escape in the yard.
When their SUV crashed into the Escape and limped to a stop after, Cross said he and Meechance got out and ran away.
By the time he reached the end of Stanley’s driveway, Cross said he heard the first two shots.
“I heard a ricochet. I heard a bullet right by my right ear,” he told court.
The defence, however, pointed out Cross had told police shortly after the shooting he believed the first shots were warnings.
“My memory is really bad,” Cross said.
The teenager, who was 17 at the time of the shooting, also offered his own theory as to why a live round was found in the chamber of the broken rifle near Boushie’s body.
“Maybe someone put the bullet in there at the Stanley farm,” he suggested.
Spencer noted Cross wouldn’t have witnessed this if it did happen because he wasn’t there.
“You ran away,” the lawyer noted.
The contentious testimony is the third eyewitness account of the events on Stanley’s farm. Court first heard from Sheldon Stanley on Wednesday, while Meechance testified in the afternoon.
Testimony is continuing throughout the week with more Crown witnesses, including Belinda Jackson and Kiora Wuttunnee, who were also in the SUV with Boushie.
—With files from 980 CJME Senior Reporter Kevin Martel.