Man accused of killing two Métis hunters expected to testify

The Crown has wrapped its witnesses in the second-degree murder trial over the deaths of two Métis hunters near Bonnyville in March 2020. Now the defence will call witnesses, including one of the accused. Breanna Karstens-Smith has more from Day 6 of the trial.

Anthony Bilodeau is expected to take the stand in his second-degree murder trial on Wednesday.

On Tuesday, the Crown finished its case by calling its final witness.

Anthony’s lawyer, Brian Beresh, then gave an opening statement, telling the jury they could expect to hear from his client on Wednesday.

Beresh continued his assertion that Anthony was acting in self defence in March 2020 when Jacob Sansom and Maurice Cardinal were killed.

“There was probably an angel looking down on him,” Bilodeau said of his client.

“And it takes the form of the CNRL video,” he explained, referencing a black and white security video that shows the confrontation between the two sides.

The second-degree murder trial for Anthony and his father, Roger Bilodeau, is now down to just 11 jurors as it nears its close.

On Tuesday, Day 6 of the trial started with Justice Eric Macklin informing the court two jurors had tested positive for COVID-19 and a third was also sick.

Macklin ordered testing for the remaining jurors and the jury officer. While the remaining 11 jurors all tested negative for the virus, the officer tested positive.

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The trial was on break until a replacement officer could be brought in.

Originally, 16 jurors were chosen for the trial which is scheduled to last 10 days.

On the first day, two jurors were excused when one tested positive for COVID-19 and another raised scheduling concerns with their work.

If the jury gets below 10 jurors, there will be a mistrial.

So far, the trial has heard Jacob Sansom and his uncle Maurice Cardinal were hunting near the Glendon area on March 27, 2020.

They shot a moose about two and a half hours northeast of Edmonton and went to a friend’s house to skin it.

The group socialized and drank alcohol for several hours.

Eventually, Sansom and Cardinal left, driving away in Sansom’s Dodge truck.

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Members of the Bilodeau family have testified they saw a truck stop near the edge of their property that night.

Roger Bilodeau’s teenaged son said the truck was there for “less than a minute.”

The son, who was 16 at the time, said he had earlier in the day watched a vehicle which he did not recognize drive down their driveway. He testified he found that suspicious as there has been crime in the area recently.

When they spotted a truck later that night, Roger and the teen got in their truck and chased the unknown vehicle.

Eventually, the two trucks came to a stop at on a rural road. A fight between the two groups ensued.

Soon after, Roger’s older son, Anthony, pulled up after his father phoned him and asked him to bring a gun.

In both statements to police and testimony, the jury has heard that Anthony shot and killed both Sansom and Cardinal.

On Tuesday, the jury heard Anthony’s audio statement to police. In it, police directly ask whether Anthony knows anything of the death of Sansom and Cardinal.

The accused can be heard telling police he knows nothing and that on the night the hunters were killed, Anthony got home from work, put his daughter to bed then went to sleep soon after.

The trial continues Wednesday.

© 2022 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.

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