While cross-examining a man accused of second-degree murder in the deaths of two Métis hunters, the Crown prosecutor alleged Anthony Bilodeau, 33, lied to the RCMP after the shootings because he knew he had done something wrong.
On Thursday, Anthony was cross-examined by Crown Prosecutor Jordan Kerr, who said Anthony came up with “planned and deliberate lies” to tell the RCMP after the shooting, which saw Anthony shoot and kill Jacob Sansom and Maurice Cardinal. The men were found dead at a rural intersection near Glendon on March 28, 2020.
“The reality is, you were telling all these deliberate, calculated lies because in your own mind, you knew what you did at that intersection wasn't lawful,” Kerr said.
Anthony had more than three days to speak with his family and rest before he spoke with RCMP about the shootings, but when officers interviewed him, Anthony claimed to know nothing about the events that transpired that night.
On Wednesday, Anthony testified that he received a call from his younger brother Joseph Bilodeau and father Roger Bilodeau, who were following a truck that had pulled up to their yard for less than a minute. The two believed the people in the truck were planning on stealing from their farm and they decided to follow the vehicle to ask what they were up to. They also called Anthony for backup.
Roger had asked Anthony to bring a gun for protection, the brothers told the court earlier this week.
Through testimony heard earlier this week, Roger, Joseph and Anthony Bilodeau had expressed concerns that rural crime was escalating in their community, but on Thursday Anthony said he had never called the police to come out to his home. While under cross-examination, Anthony said he had never been the victim of a home break-in in the five years he had lived on that road, and neither had his father in the 30 years he had lived there.
“You had no idea how long it would take (the RCMP) to get there. You never tried,” Kerr said.
Kerr stated Anthony and Roger decided to take the law into their own hands and chase the men, which Anthony denied.
According to the prosecution, the unknown truck that had been seen was no longer at the Bilodeau home when Anthony went to meet his father and brother, and the two were safe in their vehicle. Kerr said Anthony and the other Bilodeau truck could have pulled over and ended the pursuit.
"You could have told him ‘Dad, this is ridiculous. Pull over, we’re calling the police," Kerr stated. Anthony said he didn’t think to do that at the time.
“You knew there had already been a confrontation, emotions were raised, and you chose to get out of your vehicle with a gun,” Kerr said
“I believed my family’s lives were in immediate danger,” Anthony responded.
Under cross-examination Kerr said that Anthony arriving at the scene and being the first person to bring out a firearm escalated the situation, which lead to the deaths of Cardinal and Sansom.
“These men were responding to you producing a gun, right?” Kerr said.
“That’s correct,” Anthony said
As Anthony arrived at the scene, he claimed a man was choking his father, and then turned to walk toward him, but Kerr said during that event, Anthony was not able to see a firearm on the man. As the man approached Anthony, he did not hit or touch Anthony, Kerr said.
Kerr noted that Anthony could have fired a warning shot, which Anthony said he didn’t think to do, but instead he shot Sansom 20 seconds after arriving at the altercation.
After shooting Sansom, Anthony turned his gun on Cardinal and shot him three times.
Kerr said Anthony shot Cardinal because he would have been a witness to the shooting, but Anthony claimed it was because he was afraid Cardinal was going to shoot him.
Earlier in the week, Anthony testified that as he drove to the scene, he heard a window being smashed and men saying they were going to kill his father. When he arrived, he heard the men shout to get a gun so they could kill the Bilodeaus.
On Thursday, the court heard there was no gun on Cardinal, who was shot three times. There was an unloaded gun in the back passenger seat near where Cardinal was standing.
The 10-day trial is expected to continue on Friday.
Jennifer Henderson, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, St. Albert Gazette