After a number of false starts, the Reno Lee murder trial finally began in a Regina courtroom Monday.
But not before another jury member was dismissed.
This was the third jury member to be released; two were let go before the trial began last week.
Andrew Bellegarde, Bronson Gordon and Daniel Theodore are accused of murdering and dismembering Lee in April 2015.
They are each charged with first-degree murder and indecently interfering or offering an indignity to human remains by dismembering and decapitating.
One of the first witnesses to testify was coroner, Maureen Stinnen.
She collected Lee’s body parts from a burial site east of Regina on the Star Blanket First Nation.
The torso was found wrapped in garbage bags inside a hockey bag, the arms and legs had been cut off.
The legs were found in separate garbage bags, the head was bagged alone, wrapped in the same garbage bags that the arms were found in.
The head was bound with tape twice, horizontally and vertically.
Stinnen stated she had covered roughly 3,400 cases in her decades-long career in the coroner’s office and the Lee case was particularly “gruesome.”
“It was one of the most difficult cases, I will never forget it,” she said.
In his opening address, Crown lawyer Adam Breker detailed what the jury could expect to hear and see during the trial.
He warned them there would be evidence that would be difficult to view.
The crime scenes he explained include two addresses within Regina and the burial site.
There are several witnesses who will be called, four of which cannot be named because of a publication ban. Breker told the jury many of those witnesses will detail what happened to Lee the night he died.
The trial is expected to last several weeks.