One of the four people accused in the killing of 30-year-old Megan Gallagher was in Saskatoon Provincial Court for the beginning of his preliminary hearing Monday morning.
Robert "Bobby" James Thomas, 28, is facing a first-degree murder charge. The small courtroom was filled with Gallagher's family and their supporters.
Thomas was arrested nearly a year ago in Prince George, B.C., for his alleged role in the 30-year-old Saskatoon woman's death. He is the first of the four charged with first-degree murder to face a preliminary hearing.
Four witnesses are expected to speak at the week-long hearing, which is intended to determine whether there is enough evidence to proceed to trial.
Testimony and evidence shown over that time is protected by a court-ordered publication ban and cannot be reported.
Gallagher was last seen on Sept. 19, 2020, in Saskatoon's west end. Her family last saw her the day before that at their farm just outside of the city.
Since her disappearance — and continuing after her remains were found in late September 2022 — Gallagher's family has remained committed to speaking up about her.
Her father, Brian Gallagher, spoke to reporters outside the courthouse and said he was feeling "numb" as he watched the proceedings.
"We're tired, we're just listening to see what things are going on," he said.
Brian Gallagher, Megan Gallagher's father, gave thanks for the support he's received from the community. (Albert Couillard/Radio-Canada)
On Sunday, they held a memorial walk in memory of Megan and other missing people. Brian thanked the people who came on the walk, calling the support immeasurable.
"In fact, in terms of feeling tired today, that's some of the things I'm going to use to refill my cup: the warm wishes we got from people yesterday," he said.
In total, nine people have been charged in relation to Gallagher's death:
Cheyann Crystal Peeteetuce, first-degree murder.
Summer-Sky Henry, first-degree murder.
Roderick William Sutherland, first-degree murder and offering an indignity to human remains.
Thomas Richard Sutherland, unlawful confinement and aggravated assault.
Robin Tyler John, unlawful confinement and aggravated assault.
Three people — John Wayne Sanderson, Jessica Faye Badger and Ernest Vernon Whitehead — have already been sentenced for offering an indignity to human remains in the disposal of Megan's body.