Did Gerald Stanley’s Tokarev handgun fire accidentally?
That was the focus of cross-examination at Stanley’s second-degree murder trial on Friday, as a firearms expert was questioned by defence lawyer Scott Spencer on the possibility of a malfunction.
Greg Williams, a forensic firearms expert, told court on Thursday the cartridge casing found on the dashboard of the SUV Colten Boushie’s body was found near had an “unusual bulge.”
Williams said he worked through several theories as to why the deformity occurred, including the possibility of a mechanical issue.
However, the expert witness noted the handgun wasn’t prone to misfires despite several “shock tests” performed on the firearm.
The defence focused on the possibility of a hang fire – where the trigger is pulled and there is a delay before the round is released – but Williams said the delay could only theoretically be up to 0.5 seconds long.
The delayed discharge would be caused by “contaminated” gunpowder, Williams noted.
Spencer questioned whether the ammunition fired by the Tokarev — documented as Czechoslovakian military surplus ammo from 1953 — could have been defective enough to cause a hang fire.
Williams said the old ammunition could become rusted, but maintained there was no evidence of a hang fire.
He added he has never experienced a hang fire throughout his career.
The line of questioning came days after Stanley’s son, Sheldon, testified he found his father by the driver’s side of the SUV after the third shot, holding a gun in one hand and a magazine in the other.
Sheldon told court his dad said to him “I just meant to scare them … I bumped (him) and it just went off.”
— With files from 980 CJME Senior Reporter Kevin Martel.