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Packed courtroom hears Alberta farmer's bid to overturn conviction for killing Métis hunters

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The Alberta farmer who initiated a chase that ended along with his son fatally taking pictures two Métis hunters is asking the province’s prime courtroom to throw out his conviction.

Roger Bilodeau appeared within the Alberta Court docket of Enchantment Thursday in a bid to overturn his manslaughter convictions for the deaths of Jacob Sansom and Morris Cardinal, who Roger’s son Anthony Bilodeau killed on a rural street close to Glendon in 2020. 

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Roger Bilodeau, who’s at the moment serving a 10-year sentence, sat within the prisoner’s field and listened quietly to Thursday’s proceedings. Anthony Bilodeau, who was convicted of second-degree homicide and manslaughter for Cardinal and Sansom’s deaths, respectively, is serving life with no probability of parole for 13 years.

Mona Duckett, Roger Bilodeau’s lawyer, says Court docket of King’s Bench Justice Eric Macklin’s directions to the jury had been fatally flawed and must end in acquittals or a brand new trial. The Crown says the jury directions had been sufficient and never price overturning the decision.

The Bilodeaus killed Sansom and Cardinal after Bilodeau noticed their truck on the finish of his farm’s driveway on March 27, 2020. Sansom and Cardinal, his uncle, had been searching moose and stopped briefly close to Bilodeau’s property after distributing the meat to household and buddies.

Suspecting they had been thieves, Bilodeau and his youthful son Joseph Bilodeau set out in Bilodeau’s truck, chasing Sansom’s car up and down rural roads at speeds over 150 km/h.

The chase got here to an finish when Sansom stopped his truck at an intersection close to a gasoline plant. Bilodeau tried to “smoke” Sansom along with his truck when he climbed out, prompting Sansom to punch the window. Anthony Bilodeau arrived a short while later and, inside 26 seconds, loaded his gun, loudly racked it and shot Sansom and Cardinal useless.

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The three Bilodeaus then left the intersection, leaving the Métis males’s our bodies on the pavement. Anthony Bilodeau destroyed the gun, altered the looks of his truck (which was captured by a close-by CCTV digicam) and lied to police about the place he was the night time of the killings.

He and his father had been ultimately charged with two counts every of second-degree homicide, and claimed throughout final 12 months’s trial they’d acted in self-defence.

Jacob Sansom, left, and Morris Cardinal. jpg

In entrance of a courtroom filled with family and friends of each victims and accused, in addition to legal professionals and regulation college students, Duckett argued the jurors who rejected that defence weren’t correctly charged earlier than starting their deliberations.

She stated the prosecution’s case in opposition to Roger Bilodeau hinged on part 21(2) of the Legal Code, which offers with how somebody could be a get together to against the law they didn’t commit, help or abet.

Duckett stated that whereas Bilodeau referred to as his son and informed him to deliver a gun, that was not proof he and Anthony Bilodeau had a “frequent illegal objective,” or that Roger Bilodeau would or ought to have identified the killings had been a possible consequence of his actions.

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“Can we are saying this jury was correctly tasked to determine this man’s liberty? I say no,” Duckett stated.

Matthew Griener, the Crown lawyer, stated there was nothing within the jury cost that merited scrapping the convictions.  

Griener stated jurors had been appropriately geared up to determine whether or not an affordable individual may count on bodily hurt or loss of life to come up from telling somebody to deliver a gun to a high-speed chase down a darkish nation street.

He stated the velocity with which Anthony Bilodeau shot the boys speaks to a typical objective, saying it was “not an unforeseeable, sad accident.” 

Court docket of Enchantment Justices Frans Slatter, Daybreak Pentelechuk and Jolaine Antonio heard Thursday’s arguments and reserved their determination.

Anthony Bilodeau’s attraction is ready to be heard in March 2024. 

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