A firearms examiner took the stand Friday on the final day of the voir dire portion of the Greg Fertuck murder trial.
RCMP forensic specialist Kenneth Chan analyzed three shell casings: two found at the gravel pit where police believed Greg Fertuck shot and killed his estranged wife, Sheree Fertuck, on Dec. 7, 2015. Police took the third casing from the accused’s home.
“(All three) expended cartridge cases … were probably fired in a 22 Long or Long Rifle calibre firearm(s) with a rectangular or slant left firing pin,” Chan wrote in a memorandum summarizing his findings.
After a microscopic analysis, Chan’s report determined the two casings from the pit were fired from the same gun. Results were inconclusive as to whether they matched a casing taken from Greg Fertuck’s Saskatoon home.
On the stand, Chan testified that he was never told by the Crown or RCMP that near the conclusion of a Mr. Big sting, Greg Fertuck claimed to have used a Ruger 10/22 semi-automatic rifle to shoot Sheree.
“No person told me that specific,” Chan testified via video.
Court heard Chan only received a general description of the weapon allegedly involved — a .22-calibre rifle. Chan agreed with defence lawyer Mike Nolin that .22 calibre is the most common type of ammunition.
Because he didn’t have a particular make and model, Chan said he was unable to contact a manufacturer to ask about the type of firing pin it uses. He also didn’t search a database to compare the casings to images of Ruger 10/22 casings.
Greg Fertuck told undercover police he dumped the rifle in the Biggar, Sask., area after shooting Sheree.
The weapon has never been found. Sheree Fertuck’s body has also never been found, despite Greg Fertuck leading undercover officers to the rural area where he claimed to have left it.
Family last saw Sheree Fertuck leaving their farmhouse in the Kenaston, Sask., area around 1:30 p.m. on Dec. 7, 2015. They believed she was driving her semi-truck to a nearby gravel pit as part of her hauling operation.
They later found the vehicle parked at the pit with her jacket, cellphone and keys inside the truck’s cab.
All of the testimony to date has occurred within a voir dire, or admissibility hearing. On March 30, Justice Richard Danyliuk is scheduled to rule on what can be applied to the trial.
The central question of the voir dire decision will likely be whether or not Danyliuk will deem the RCMP’s sting admissible.
After the judge’s ruling, the defence lawyers can decide if they will call witnesses of their own.
Over the course of nearly one year, RCMP carried out 130 orchestrated interactions with Greg Fertuck, where undercover police posed as his co-workers in a staged criminal organization.
The sting came to a head on June 21, 2019, at the James Hotel in Saskatoon, where the accused told undercover police he shot and killed Sheree.
The defence has said the RCMP manipulated Greg Fertuck, whom his lawyers describe as a lying alcoholic with memory issues.