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Greg Fertuck told undercover officer he murdered estranged wife Sheree Fertuck: Crown

Click to play video: 'Greg Fertuck told undercover officer he murdered estranged wife Sheree Fertuck: Crown' Greg Fertuck told undercover officer he murdered estranged wife Sheree Fertuck: Crown
WATCH: The trial of Sheree Fertuck's estranged husband is underway. Greg fertuck has pleaded not guilty to first-degree murder in Sheree's death – Sep 8, 2021

Speaking to an undercover officer in June 2019, Greg Fertuck said he killed his estranged wife Sheree Fertuck and needed assistance getting rid of her body, court heard on the opening day of a long-awaited murder trial in Saskatoon.

A day earlier, Fertuck, now 67, was told the RCMP was still investigating him in Sheree’s Dec. 7, 2015 disappearance. That interaction prompted a meeting with the undercover officer who posed as the head of a company the accused was working for, according to Crown prosecutor Cory Bliss.

“Greg Fertuck emphatically wants his help. He admits to murdering Sheree Fertuck,” Bliss said.

Read more: Sheree Fertuck’s friend remembers loving, hard-working mother

The Crown said Fertuck admitted to driving to the pit, waiting for Sheree, and shooting her twice with a Ruger 10/22 rifle. The accused also told the undercover police that the bullet casings were left at the pit, Bliss said.

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What he didn’t know, according to the Crown, was that police found two .22-calibre casings at the scene three years earlier. RCMP deliberately withheld the information from the public, the media and Sheree’s family.

Court heard a police search of Fertuck’s truck revealed a small spot of blood on the inside of its tailgate. The blood matched the DNA profile of a razor given to police by Sheree’s mother, the Crown said.

After his alleged confession, Fertuck led the undercover officers to the pit and pointed out the location where he said the shooting happened, Bliss said. The group travelled to an area northeast of the pit where the accused allegedly said he disposed of Sheree’s body.

The Crown said the accused was able to direct undercover officers by memory. Her remains have never been found.

Read more: Murder trial delayed for Greg Fertuck, accused of killing his estranged wife, Sheree

In January 2019, Fertuck hit his head and suffered a brain injury. He wasn’t doing well, according to Bliss, and didn’t want treatment. The undercover officers called him an ambulance, and though he threatened to stop talking them, eventually returned to work with the undercover officers.

Bliss made the comments Tuesday, as part of his opening statement in court. Greg Fertuck has pleaded not guilty to first-degree murder and offering an indignity to the body of Sheree.

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Fertuck was the subject of an RCMP investigation commonly known as a Mr. Big Sting, where officers pose as members of a criminal organization. Police befriend a suspect with the goal of producing a confession. The method is controversial, as opponents typically raise concerns about entrapment by police.

The Crown expects all evidence in the judge-alone to be presented as part of a voir dire — a trial within a trial to determine the admissibility of information.

Fertuck was arrested, questioned and released in October 2017. In 2018, police began surveilling the suspect in an effort to understand his lifestyle, court heard. They established what appeared to be a “contest” for an all-expenses paid trip to Alberta, which is how he met and was befriended by undercover police, Bliss said.

Sheree was a mother of three and grandmother of one. She loved her dog Charles, court heard.

Read more: Greg Fertuck committed to trial for disappearance of estranged wife Sheree

Speaking with reporters outside court, Sheree’s sister Teaka White said she was anxious for the trial to start and will be relieved for it to be over.

“All we want is the truth, and hopefully the evidence is going to get us that,” White said.

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Sheree had no known medical issues, mental health concerns or addictions. She was financially stable and was working “a fairly lucrative gravel contract” near Hanely, Sask., Bliss said.

“The police learned Greg’s finances were poor,” Bliss said.

His bank accounts were often in overdraft, and family law prevented him from accessing his pension, according to the Crown.

Finances and property made up a large part of the marital dispute, and it “did not appear to be a completely rosy” relationship, Bliss said.

Family members raised concerns about the accused’s behaviour following Sheree’s disappearance, saying he didn’t seem worried or participate in the search, and he started drinking again, according to the Crown.

“His own child suspected him of doing something to their mother,” Bliss said.

Justice Richard Danyliuk is presiding over the trial. Morris Bodnar and Mike Nolin are representing the accused.

He was committed to stand trial in January 2020 following a two-week preliminary hearing.

The trial was originally scheduled to start on March 29.

Justice Richard Danyliuk delayed the trial due to a spike in COVID-19 cases at the time that he said would make it difficult for witnesses to travel from Regina to testify.

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He said it is a complex case that involves an undercover police operation.

The trial by judge alone is scheduled to last for a duration of five weeks.

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