One of Saskatchewan’s top defence lawyers explained details about a piece of evidence in the Colten Boushie case.
Gerald Stanley is currently being charged with second-degree murder of the 22-year-old.
Boushie died in a shooting on Stanley’s ranch near Biggar, Sask on Aug. 9. The details surrounding his death are still unclear.
Aaron Fox, a lawyer with McDougall Gauley LLP in Regina, said even though the 2003 Ford Escape Boushie was killed in wasn’t independently tested, it’s hard to prove in court there’s a disadvantage for the defense.
“The real key is whether or not I could establish from a defense perspective whether or not I suffered prejudice as a result of that,” he said.
“Simply standing up and saying this car isn’t available for me to look at, that wouldn’t be enough. I would have to show I really suffered prejudice as a result of that.”
The example he gave was if there was a stain on one of the car seats, the defense could try to suggest it wasn’t accurately tested and if the seat is no longer available for further testing, it could be argued the defense suffered prejudice.
According to the Boushie’s family lawyer, RCMP released the Ford Escape to a towing company in Saskatoon before it was independently tested.
“Generally, if police come across something that’s relevant to the criminal investigation, they will seize it. And they’ll seize it for the purpose of doing their own testing, possibly tendering it in as evidence and occasionally having it available if the defense wants to look at it,” said Fox.
“So certainly, at first blush, you would think the vehicle in which this young fellow was in when he was shot would be a clearly relevant piece of evidence and at first blush again you would think it would have been retained.”