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Greg Fertuck found guilty of killing ex-wife after nearly three-year long trial

Click to play video: 'Greg Fertuck found guilty of killing ex-wife after nearly three-year long trial'
Greg Fertuck found guilty of killing ex-wife after nearly three-year long trial
WATCH: After nearly three years before the courts, Greg Fertuck was found guilty of killing his ex-wife Sheree Fertuck eight years ago. Brooke Kruger reports from the Court of King's Bench. – Jun 14, 2024

After nearly three years before the courts, Greg Fertuck was found guilty of killing his ex-wife Sheree Fertuck eight years ago.

Sheree went missing near Kenaston, Sask., on Dec. 7, 2015. Her body has never been found.

Fertuck confessed to the murder in 2019 during an undercover police operation, where he said he shot Sheree twice in a gravel pit, hid her body and stashed the rifle in rural Saskatchewan.

Going by the name “dark cowboy”, Fertuck reenacted killing Sheree and drew maps of the gravel pit for undercover officers posing as high-profile crime bosses.

In court, he claimed he was lying during those statements.

Click to play video: 'Undercover confession allowed as evidence in first-degree murder trial'
Undercover confession allowed as evidence in first-degree murder trial

“It was so frail, so unreliable that there is no way I could accept it, put any weight on it,” Justice Richard Danyliuk said on Friday. “The evidence that has emerged in this trial ranges from the ridiculous to the offensive.”

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He said that Fertuck’s retelling of the murder was too detailed to be made up on the spot.

“He killed her in cold blood… Dark cowboy indeed,” Danyliuk said.

Partway through the trial, the murder weapon was found, matching shells recovered from the gravel pit.

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Danyliuk said he spent nights, weekends and holidays sifting through evidence and his notes over the course of the trial.

“I kept getting drawn back to one thing: the pit. The pit, what an apt name for the site of such things, such a callous killing,” he said. “It is a location I have never visited, never seen personally, yet I suspect it will occupy a place in my mind for the rest of my time on Earth.”

Danyliuk said Fertuck’s killing of Sheree was completely intentional, noting he hid his vehicle in the pit, brought a loaded, untraceable gun, gloves and heavy plastic.

“It may have been a backup plan, but it was a plan,” Danyliuk said, adding Fertuck could have simply driven away when he returned to his truck to grab the gun moments before shooting Sheree.

He said Fertuck was a misogynist, clearly seeing women as inferior.

Click to play video: 'Greg Fertuck may seek mistrial just days before verdict in his murder trial'
Greg Fertuck may seek mistrial just days before verdict in his murder trial

“He clearly believed women should obey men,” Danyliuk said in court. “His comments about women with the undercover operatives were beyond rude; they were vulgar and often disgusting. He harboured violent thoughts.”

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Cellphone records place Fertuck’s phone at the gravel pit on the day Sheree went missing, and pinging off cellphone towers along the same route he told undercover officers he followed on his way to the killing.

In his decision, Danyliuk said he heard significant evidence about Sheree, describing her as hard-working, stable and dependable. She had no known substance abuse issues, addictions, mental health problems or illnesses.

“She was a hard worker, punctual, diligent. She maintained a disciplined routine,” the decision read. “All three of her children were crown witnesses. All three have terminated their relationship with Greg.”

He went on to describe Sheree as a “tough broad” earning several chuckles from the court gallery.

“What we heard today is what a beautiful person Sheree Fertuck was,” crown prosecutor Cory Bliss said Friday. “A hardworking lady, but very important to her family, a gregarious person, someone who loved to laugh. When she was taken from this world by Greg Fertuck, the world lost a light.”

Click to play video: 'Media coverage played large role in prosecution of killer: Saskatchewan attorneys'
Media coverage played large role in prosecution of killer: Saskatchewan attorneys

Sheree’s three sisters said they are grateful to see justice for her

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“We weren’t able to give a proper send-off or say a proper goodbye to Sheree but this is some sort of closure for us,” sister Glenda Sorotski said. “Sheree can now rest in peace.”

Fertuck’s application for a mistrial and calls to reopen the evidence portion of his case were denied on Wednesday, with Danyliuk saying these efforts were “ill-conceived” and without any legal foundation. Fertuck has been representing himself in his case, despite the court’s recommendation against it.

His sentencing hearing is scheduled for July 4, where Sheree’s family will have the opportunity to address him through victim impact statements.

– With files from Global News’ Trillian Reynoldson

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