Colten Boushie’s family surrounded by support outside the North Battleford courthouse Aug. 18, 2016.
Gerald Stanley committed to stand trial for second degree murder of Colten Boushie
By Red Power Media, Staff | April 06, 2017
The Saskatchewan farmer charged in the shooting death of 22-year-old Colten Boushie has been committed to stand trial.
650 CKOM reports, Gerald Stanley will stand trial in the Court of Queen’s Bench, in North Battleford, on the charge of second degree murder.
The ruling came down Thursday, on the last day of Stanley’s preliminary hearing.
On Aug. 9, 2016, Boushie, a resident of the Red Pheasant First Nation, was a passenger in a car with four other people when he was shot and killed on Stanley’s rural property after the group went to ask for help with a flat tire.
Gerald Stanley leaves North Battleford provincial court on the last day of his preliminary hearing Thursday. A judge ordered him to stand trial on second-degree murder. (Jason Warick/CBC )
The allegations against Stanley have not yet been proven in court.
A trial date has not been set, however the Crown said it would be fall 2017 at the earliest.
All evidence and testimony from Stanley’s preliminary hearing are under a publication ban.
The next scheduled appearance for Stanley is June 26, 1:30 in provincial court on two charges of unsafe storage of a firearm.
RCMP are also looking into laying hate-speech charges over racist comments made online about the Colten Boushie case.
RCMP say that Mounties have “looked into a number of instances of potential hate crimes” over the last few months in Saskatchewan. No charges have yet been laid.
The RCMP was accused of showing bias in its initial media release issued about the shooting.
The way RCMP initially described the shooting death of Boushie fueled racial tensions in Saskatchewan.
Social media exploded with rumours and posts that wished violence on Boushie’s friends and Indigenous people in general.
Hearing attracts rally
CBC News reports, a crowd of nearly 100 people carrying placards reading “Justice for Colten” and “Native Lives Matter!” gathered outside the courthouse on Thursday.
According to the Battlefords News-Optimist, a number of Indigenous leaders, including Federation of Sovereign Indigenous Nations (FSIN) officials and several area Chiefs, were in attendance decrying the racism they were seeing.
“This is tragic, but again it’s not the first time,” said FSIN vice-chief Heather Bear. She voiced support for laying charges for those who had promoted hate speech on social media in the wake of the tragedy.
At the rally Colten’s cousin Jade Tootoosis stood beside Colten’s mother, Debbie Baptiste, and read a statement on behalf of the family.
“While his death revealed a deep divide in this province, it also brought us here, to this court house where we can come together and ask for a fair trial for everyone involved. We, Colten’s family, hope that this preliminary hearing and the issues that it raises about our relationships with each other, will generate further discussion and dialogue to help us bring our communities together.”
Following the preliminary hearing, crowds broke into chants of “Justice for Colten” after they learned that Stanley had been committed to stand trial.
“I’m pretty sure my brother’s looking down now happy,” said Colten Boushie’s brother, William Boushie, to reporters following the proceedings.
RCMP barricades blocked the road in front of North Battleford Provincial Court for much of the hearing’s, while several officers were stationed outside the building and inside the hallways and courtroom.
The lawyer for the Boushie family, Chris Murphy, said he wasn’t aware of any threats and said he’s never before seen that amount of security at a court case.