A Court of Queen’s Bench gallery viewed a series of videos from Saskatoon businesses taken on Dec. 7, 2015, beginning with a camera mounted at Saskatoon Motor Products on Circle Drive. It showed a white Dodge Ram, which police believe to be Greg Fertuck’s vehicle, turn northbound onto Millar Avenue.
On a subsequent video, a man, who police say appears to be Greg Fertuck, walks into a north-end physiotherapist’s office at 10:57 a.m. He left 29 minutes later. The same white Dodge Ram is then seen heading southbound on Millar before turning onto Circle Drive.
Court did not see another video of the pickup truck from that morning.
Greg Fertuck, 67, has pleaded not guilty to first-degree murder and offering an indignity to a body. He was arrested after a Mr. Big sting, a controversial police tactic involving undercover officers, in June 2019.
Sheree, 51, was staying at the Sorotski farmhouse prior to her disappearance. Court has heard she had lunch before leaving the property east of Kenaston, which is about 85 kilometres south of Saskatoon. Sheree would regularly haul gravel from a nearby pit.
Around 1:20 p.m. on Dec. 7, Greg Fertuck had a phone conversation with Shalane Shackleton of the Workers’ Compensation Board. In court, she testified that Greg Fertuck told her he’d been “taken off work” by a specialist.
In its opening statement, Crown prosecutor Cory Bliss said during the call, the accused’s phone accessed a cell tower near the gravel pit, showing he was “in the vector” of the pit.
Greg Fertuck eventually told undercover police he drove to the pit, waited for Sheree and shot her twice with a rifle, according to Bliss. Family found her jacket, cellphone and semi-truck the next day. Her keys were still in the ignition.
Const. Tanya Gordon was tasked with organizing and reviewing the Dec. 7 surveillance videos. She testified that a white truck that may have belonged to Greg Fertuck was seen on 11th Street West outside the headquarters for Cameco.
She could not confirm that it was Greg Fertuck’s truck or that he was behind the wheel. The potential sighting was at 1:51 p.m.
Gordon said at 4:54 p.m., a white truck believed to be Greg Fertuck’s Dodge Ram, turned into Vern’s Car Wash on 11th Street West. A person exits the driver’s side, lowers the tail gate and climbs into the truck bed.
After a couple minutes, the person exits the bed of the truck and drives into a wash bay. The truck exits the bay roughly 18 minutes later.
Saskatchewan RCMP began following Greg Fertuck’s movements more closely on Dec. 16, 2015, when they began GPS tracking his cellphone and Dodge Ram. The initial round of surveillance lasted until Feb. 13, Gordon testified.
A second tracking warrant for March, April and May was approved for the accused’s phone, truck and a Toyota Camry car.
The tracking results revealed some of Greg Fertuck’s day-to-day movements, including trips to Dakota Dunes Casino and daily visits to liquor stores.
The tracking devices never placed Greg Fertuck in the area of Sheree’s family farm, the gravel pit or the Kenaston region.
On April 14, 2016, Gordon participated in an arm-to-arm police search of the gravel pit. Each time officers found an item of interest, they would call out and place a flag at the location.
They located a small flashlight, two batteries, three pieces of black zip ties and two .22 calibre shell casings, Gordon said.
During cross-examination, defence lawyer Morris Bodnar asked if Gordon knows when the shells were left at the pit.
“No, I do not know,” she answered.
Bodnar also asked whether there were any attempts to find video surveillance in the Kenaston area. Gordon said officers looked at video from a Kenaston Petro-Canada gas station and didn’t find anything relevant.
During re-examination, Gordon stated she believed the camera wouldn’t have shown a view of Highway 11 or Highway 15, near Sheree’s family farm.
‘You must be wet behind the ears, pilgrim.’
Court also heard testimony from a family member of Greg Fertuck’s who testified he felt he was being threatened nearly a year after Sheree went missing.
Clayton Fertuck, whose father is Greg Fertuck’s cousin, said he never associated with the accused and that side of his family. He read a transcript of text messages he and Greg Fertuck exchanged in September 2015, in which the accused asked him to buy ammunition, and the witness made excuses not to.
Read more: How do Mr. Big sting operations work
In November 2016, Greg Fertuck texted him again, asking if he was “talking to a stupid boy.” Clayton, 40, replied saying he doesn’t intend to break any laws.
“If you call me stupid or boy one more time, I promise you will regret it,” Clayton texted.
Greg Fertuck replied: “You think after 63 years, something like you would scare me? You must be wet behind the ears, pilgrim.”
The conversation continued, with Greg Fetuck telling his relative to think about how long he “want(s) to be around.”
Clayton testified that he took the accused’s message as “a possible murder threat.” One of Clayton’s last text messages read: “so the prime suspect in a murder investigation just asked me how long I want to be around. Good one.”
Adam Sarich, a former employer of Greg Fertuck’s, said the accused wasn’t afraid to “hold back,” speak his mind or challenge others.
“He was a very good driver,” Sarich said.
Testimony on Tuesday is expected to focus on DNA and cellphone activity. Sheree Fertuck’s family lawyer is also slated to take the stand.