‘No way justified:’ Murder trial told farmer, son assumed Metis hunters were thieves
EDMONTON — A Crown prosecutor has told a murder trial that an Alberta farmer and his son followed and shot two Métis hunters assuming they were thieves who had earlier driven onto the family’s property.
A lawyer for the farmer says the killings were in self defence.
The jury trial began in Edmonton on Monday for Roger Bilodeau, 58, and his son Anthony Bilodeau, 33, who have pleaded not guilty to second-degree murder in the deaths of Jacob Sansom and Maurice Cardinal.
Sansom, 39, and his 59-year-old uncle were found dead on a rural road near Glendon, northeast of Edmonton, in March 2020.
Prosecutor Jordan Kerr said in his opening statement that Sansom had driven from his home in southern Alberta and dropped his three children off at his mother’s home in Bonnyville. He and his uncle then went moose hunting so they could fill the family’s freezer with meat.
Kerr said the older Bilodeau saw the hunters’ pickup truck slowly go by his home,and it looked like one that had been on his property that day. While following the hunters in his truck, Bilodeau phoned his son and asked him to follow behind and to bring a gun, said the prosecutor.
Security footage from a nearby gas station shows the Bilodeau men in their trucks following Sansom and Cardinal in their truck, Kerr added.
Roger Bilodeau and the hunters first stopped their trucks on the road.
Anthony Bilodeau arrived soon after. Within 26 seconds, he shot Sansom, then shot Cardinal as the hunter was walking to his truck, said Kerr.
The Bilodeaus then drove away.
A motorist called RCMP after finding Sansom dead in the middle of the road and Cardinal’s body in a ditch.
Autopsies determined that Sansom was shot once in the chest and Cardinal was shot three times in his shoulder, said Kerr.
“These were in no way justified killings,” Kerr said.
“Anthony Bilodeau freely made the decision to arm himself and to join in a pursuit on a public highway, simply because his father had suspected somebody might be trying to steal from him.
“Roger Bilodeau clearly anticipated having a confrontation at the end of the chase, when he recruited his son Anthony Bilodeau into joining the pursuit and bringing a firearm.”
Defence lawyer Shawn Gerstel said Roger Bilodeau followed the hunters because a similar truck had gone onto his property earlier in the day while his wife was home alone. There were also concerns about property crime in the area.
Gerstel said Anthony Bilodeau shot at the hunters because Sansom had smashed a window of his father’s truck and punched his father multiple times.
“Along with the video, you will see the shirt that Roger wore that evening. The collar of Roger’s shirt is torn half off. Mr. Sansom’s blood was located on three distinct areas of Roger’s shirt,” Gerstel said.
“(Roger Bildoeau) asked for a gun for protection because he didn’t know who he was dealing with.”
Gerstel also said the hunters were drunk, loud and obnoxious. He said a medical examiner is to testify that Sansom had a blood alcohol level that was nearly threetimes the legal driving limit, and Cardinal’s blood alcohol limit was nearly two times the limit.
James Sansom testified he had never seen his brother miss a target during a hunt, and he was also a talented martial artist who was good at de-escalating situations.
The trial is to continue Tuesday.
This report by The Canadian Press was first published May 16, 2022.
This story was produced with the financial assistance of the Meta and Canadian Press News Fellowship.
Fakiha Baig, The Canadian Press
Police looking for these 3 suspects after Super 8 Motel in Innisfail robbed early Monday morning
Innisfail RCMP investigate robbery
Innisfail Ala. – On May 29, 2023, at approximately 4:10 a.m., the Super 8 motel in Innisfail was the victim of an armed robbery. Three male suspects entered the hotel, two of which had firearms. Money was demanded from the manager. All three left the motel in a vehicle which is described as:
- Chevrolet Dura Max truck
The suspects are described as:
Suspect #1: Caucasian male, tall and muscular. Wearing jeans and a grey Under Armour hoody. He was carrying a pistol.
Suspect #2: Caucasian male, short. Wearing all black. He was carrying a sawed off shotgun
Suspect #3: Caucasian male tall with a chubby belly. He was wearing a grey hoody, jeans and a black ball hat.
If you have information about this incident, please call the Innisfail RCMP at 403-227-3341 or call your local police. If you want to remain anonymous, you can contact Crime Stoppers by phone at 1-800-222-8477 (TIPS), by internet atwww.tipsubmit.com, or by SMS (check your local Crime Stoppers www.crimestoppers.ab.ca for instructions).
‘Tragic accident’ blamed for recent death of giraffe at Calgary Zoo
The Wilder Institute/Calgary Zoo says a “tragic accident” led to the recent death of an adult Masai giraffe. A statement from the zoo says the female giraffe named Emara died May 19 after tangling one of her horns on a cable surrounding her enclosure. THE CANADIAN PRESS/HO-Wilder Institute/Calgary Zoo-Sergei Belskey
The Calgary Zoo says a “tragic accident” led to the recent death of one of its adult Masai giraffes.
A statement from the zoo says a female giraffe named Emara died May 19 after tangling one of her horns in a cable surrounding her enclosure.
The statement says a necropsy revealed Emara fell against the enclosure fence and died almost instantly of a broken neck.
Emara, who had just turned 12, came to Calgary from the San Diego Zoo in 2016.
The statement says she was a treasured member at the zoo and was known for her cautious yet curious personality and gentle nature.
The zoo says it is checking fencing within its African Savannah Yard enclosure to see if changes are needed to better protect the other giraffes and animals that share the space.
Doug Whiteside, interim associate director of animal care and welfare at the zoo, said Emara was in her prime and was in excellent health when she died.
“Major life changes such as this not only affect our people but can affect our animal residents as well,” Whiteside said in the statement Monday.
He said the zoo’s remaining giraffes, Nabo and Moshi, are doing well.
Grief counsellors are being made available to Emara’s caregivers and other zoo staff.
This report by The Canadian Press was first published May 29, 2023.
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