The Greg Fertuck murder trial has heard details of a gravel contract worth hundreds of thousands of dollars that Sheree Fertuck was working on prior to her death.
Sheree, who relatives described as generous, family-oriented and hard-working, initially lost the bid to a rival hauler.
However, Sheree was awarded the contract after her competitor’s gravel loads were lighter than promised, according to Martin Koyle, a project manager with TexCana Logistics.
The company’s fertilizer plant planned for the Hanley area needed gravel for roads, building bases and rail beds, he said.
The company paid Sheree’s family corporation, Sorotski Holdings, approximately $200,000, Koyle testified. The defence has suggested the contract was worth $2 million, though Koyle said the entire project was less than $2 million.
During Thursday’s testimony, Koyle said Sheree was an “aggressive” businesswoman, meaning she was eager to work, but not violent or angry.
He’d heard rumours that Sheree didn’t get along with her competitor from the same area, he testified.
One of Sheree’s daughters, Lanna Fertuck, said Wednesday that her mother had a “tiff” with the businessman, but she said Greg Fertuck was the only person with a motive for murder.
Greg Fertuck has pleaded not guilty to first-degree murder and offering an indignity to a body related to Sheree’s disappearance on Dec. 7, 2015. Police arrested him in June 2019, after an undercover operation known as a Mr. Big sting.
Mr. Big stings are often viewed as contentious. They involve police posing as criminals in an attempt to gain the trust of a suspect in order to elicit a confession.
Sheree’s body has never been found.
Her truck was still running when Darren Sorotski, Sheree’s brother, found it on Dec. 8, 2015. The doors were unlocked and the trailer wasn’t loaded, he testified.
Sheree’s jacket was also in the truck’s cab, along with her cellphone. Court heard there wasn’t any cell reception in the pit.
A front-end loader was also present at the pit with the doors locked. The loader had been equipped with a scale in order to ensure Sheree’s deliveries were more accurate than her competitor’s.
Under cross-examination by defence lawyer Morris Bodnar, Sorotski said the scale was vandalized at some point before Sheree’s disappearance. They never found out who did it.
During his opening statement, Crown prosecutor Cory Bliss said Greg Fertuck used the loader to lift Sheree’s body into the back of his pickup truck.
Ronald Matycio, Sheree’s uncle, took part in the search effort following Sheree’s disappearance. He recalled seeing Sheree’s competitor on foot, helping look for her.
He never saw Greg Fertuck searching, nor did Sorotski, court heard.
Matycio also described running into the accused at a retail store and asking whether he’d heard anything about the missing woman. Matycio said Greg Fertuck didn’t ask about the search or whether he could help.
Police executed two warrants at Greg Fertuck’s Saskatoon home: one in the weeks after Sheree’s disappearance and the other was following the police sting in June 2019.
Among several other items, police found .22-calibre ammunition and a magazine. The Crown’s theory is that Greg Fertuck used a .22-calibre gun to shoot Sheree before disposing of the gun in a rural area outside Saskatoon.
Justice Richard Danyliuk is presiding over the eight-week, judge-alone trial. With the Crown’s evidence presented in a voir dire, he will ultimately decide if it is admissible.