With the jury sequestered in Gerald Stanley’s second-degree murder trial, media can now report on what happened inside the courtroom when the 12-person panel wasn’t there.
There was a no-show witness, an attempt to submit a Reddit thread as evidence and a stern warning about the behaviour of people in the gallery.
Warrant issued for missing witness
When Stanley’s trial began, the Crown planned to call all four people who were in a grey SUV with Boushie the day he died.
The fourth person, Kiora Wuttunee, was a no-show when it was her turn to take the stand.
According to other witnesses, Wuttunee was in a relationship with Boushie at the time of his death.
Chief Justice Martel Popescul issued a warrant for her arrest, but Crown prosecutor Bill Burge decided not to force her to testify after Jackson told court Wuttunee had been asleep for most of the altercation.
“There didn’t seem to be any purpose in now calling her as a witness – simply to say that she was asleep and didn’t know what happened,” Burge told reporters.
Internet evidence thrown out
Another contentious moment in the trial came during defence lawyer Scott Spencer’s cross-examination of firearms expert Greg Williams.
Spencer was asking Williams about the maximum time delay in a hang fire – when the trigger is pulled but the round is discharged after a pause. Williams had said theoretically the delay could only last about half a second.
The defence lawyer wanted Williams to offer his professional opinion on anecdotal evidence of longer hang fires collected from an Internet discussion thread taken from Reddit.
However, the Crown objected and Popescul ultimately sided with Burge.
Popescul said he had concerns the Reddit users weren’t identifiable and noted while some information online can be accurate, “other information is pure garbage.”
Instead, Spencer later called two witnesses who had personal experience with what they labelled as hang fires.
Gallery warned about conduct
Popescul had to caution the gallery about their conduct multiple times throughout the proceedings.
At the beginning of the trial, he reminded everyone the public was free to attend, but they couldn’t offer opinions or display signs and slogans on their clothing.
After a brief break in Gerald Stanley’s testimony, he issued a warning to the gallery.
Popescul said the jury had brought forward concerns about “muttering” and “snickering” from the gallery.
“You are not being passive observers,” he said. “This must stop.”
650 CKOM and 980 CJME will have live coverage once a verdict is reached in the Gerald Stanley trial.