Content warning: graphic descriptions of court material.
The jury in the Reno Lee murder and dismemberment trial sat through horrific evidence as picture after picture showed the gruesome condition in which the 34-year-old’s body was found nearly three years ago.
“What we see in this photo is Reno Lee’s torso,” described Cpl. Darrel Danylyshen of the Regina Police Service on Tuesday.
Andrew Bellegarde, Bronson Gordon and Daniel Theodore are accused of murdering and dismembering Lee in April 2015.
The 13 jurors remained composed as they viewed crime scene photos taken from both the burial site east of Regina on the Star Blanket First Nation, near Balcarres, and during the autopsy in Saskatoon.
A few people in the gallery let out audible sounds of discomfort as pictures of a head, torso and limbs were displayed on two screens in the courtroom.
Court heard from Danylyshen and one other police officer, Const. Gary Naylen. As part of the eight-person police underwater search and recovery team, Naylen helped wade through two sloughs on the first nation in April 2015, when Lee’s body was discovered.
That team recovered a red saw, a cleaver and several knives, along with white tape with the words “fragile” written in red on it. That tape was found on Lee’s body, bounding his mouth, wrists and ankles as the photographs revealed.
The province’s chief forensic pathologist Dr. Shaun Ladham also testified and explained the cause of Lee’s death was “two separate gunshot wounds to the head.”
Through x-ray photographs, he explained to the jury how the bullets entered the skull and went through the brain, leaving fragments behind.
In the prisoner’s box, the three men accused had a blank look that appeared rather expressionless.
Bellegarde, Gordon and Theodore are charged with first-degree murder. The trio is also charged with indecently interfering or offering an indignity to human remains by dismembering and decapitating.
The trial is set to resume Wednesday at 10 a.m.