Emotional first day in trial of farmer accused of killing Indigenous man

first_imgBATTLEFORD, Sask. – People are bracing for another emotional day at the trial of a Saskatchewan farmer accused of killing an Indigenous man on his property.There were tears in a Battleford courtroom Tuesday as Gerald Stanley’s trial got underway.Stanley, 56, has pleaded not guilty to second-degree murder in the shooting death of Colten Boushie, 22.Boushie, who was from the Red Pheasant First Nation, died from a single gunshot wound to the back of his head on Stanley’s farm near Biggar on Aug. 9, 2016.Court heard that Boushie was behind the wheel of an SUV that was trying to leave the farm when he was shot.Jurors were warned in advance that some of the evidence would be graphic.Pictures of the disabled vehicle with Boushie’s lifeless body laying on the ground, along with blood stains on the seat and dashboard, were upsetting to members of his family.“The trial’s begun and it’s been hard on us to sit there,” said his cousin Jade Tootoosis outside court.“I just want to encourage people to come out for themselves to come and bear witness and hear for yourselves as everything unfolds.”Boushie’s uncle, Alvin Baptiste, brought an eagle feather with him to the trial.“This is for truth and justice,” he said during a break. “This is a symbolic symbol of First Nations people.”He said Boushie’s mother, Debbie Baptiste, had to leave the courtroom.“She’s not sitting in the courtroom to see those graphic pictures,” he said. “The pictures are pretty graphic to see my nephew laying there and the blood splatter all over the vehicle like that and it’s reopening the wounds again.”Some of the people attending the trial were wearing T-shirts that said ‘Justice for Colten’.The trial is scheduled to last three weeks.Follow @BillGraveland on Twitterlast_img

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