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Jury hears from man charged with 2nd-degree murder in deaths of Alberta hunters

Click to play video: 'Jury hears from father, son on 5th day of Métis hunters murder trial' Jury hears from father, son on 5th day of Métis hunters murder trial
A jury has heard from one of the men accused of second-degree murder in the deaths of Métis hunters Jacob (Jake) Sansom and Maurice (Morris) Cardinal. Roger Bilodeau's statements to police were played in court Friday, before his youngest son testified. Breanna Karstens-Smith has the latest – May 20, 2022

One of the men charged with second-degree murder in the death of two Metis hunters in March of 2020 first told police he knew nothing about what happened just down the road from his home near Glendon.

The audio statement to RCMP was made on the afternoon of March 31, 2020, four days after Jacob Sansom and Maurice Cardinal were found dead on a rural road.

Roger Bilodeau can be heard telling Sgt. Christian Reister: “I don’t know much.”

He said his 16-year-old son saw two blue vehicles in their yard at about 10:30 that morning and that the son found that suspicious.

That son testified Friday, first saying he saw the two vehicles before changing his testimony to say he only saw one.

Sgt. Reister asks whether the Bilodeau family had been affected by any of the rural crime that had becoming more common in the Glendon and Bonnyville areas.

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“We haven’t had no B&Es or nothing else,” Bilodeau tells the officer, adding they had no problems with poachers on their property either.

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Widow testifies at trial for a father, son accused of killing Métis hunters in northern Alberta – May 17, 2022

When the officer asks whether Bilodeau had heard anything the night the Metis hunters were killed, Roger denied that he had.

“I don’t know shit from Shania,” he could be heard saying.

The officer then showed Bilodeau a photo of the victims and asked whether he had ever seen them before. The accused said he had not.

When asked whether the family had any guns, Bilodeau says they have “lots,” and that at one point, they had about 21 registered.

Before wrapping up the interview, Sgt. Reister asks: “Did you shoot these people?” to which Bilodeau says: “No.”

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Sgt. Reister then has the 16 year old provide a statement, which has not been played in court.

Read more: Alberta hunter’s wife testifies she told him not to drink and drive the night he was shot

On Friday, the officer testified Roger Bilodeau returned to the police vehicle about 10 minutes later, invited him into the family garage and “said what actually happened.”

Bilodeau then went to the Bonnyville RCMP detachment where he gave a statement to Sgt. Reister on camera.

In that statement, he starts by again explaining the two blue vehicles that entered the family property the morning of March 31, 2020.

He then says the family was in the house that night and saw a vehicle at the edge of their property before speeding off.

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Trial begins for father and son accused of killing Métis hunters in northern Alberta – May 16, 2022

Bilodeau’s daughter Stephanie testified Friday that the vehicle did not come down the driveway toward the house and no one got out of the vehicle.

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In his testimony, the teen son said the vehicle stopped for “less than a minute.”

In his statement, Roger Bilodeau told police he and his teenage son jumped in their truck and chased them south down a rural road.

“These guys are up and down your road and they’re all armed and they’re all dangerous. And we’re not supposed to do anything,” Bilodeau told RCMP.

He said the vehicle then turned around in the middle of the road and headed north so they did the same.

At that time, Bilodeau said he called his older son Anthony and told him: “These sons of b–ches are coming to steal or do something.”

He also told Anthony to bring a gun.

Read more: Father, son accused of killing Métis hunters in rural Alberta plead not guilty

At an intersection, Bilodeau said he pulled in front of the truck they had been chasing.

He said one of the people inside got out and came around to his passenger side where he started “beating on the window,” eventually breaking it.

Bilodeau said the second person from the vehicle they had been chasing also came towards them.

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He told police one of the men told the other “get a knife, let’s kill these sons of b–ches.”

In his statement, Roger said Anthony then pulled up in his vehicle and got out holding a gun.

Roger told police the man who had broken their window then went towards Anthony and said: “I’m going to kill you, motherf—er.”

The teen’s original statement to police said he also heard the man threatened to “skin” the Bilodeaus.

He said he was “terrified” and that the man was acting aggressive but that he did not ever see that man with a weapon.

Lawyers agree Anthony then fatally shot Jacob Sansom in the chest less than 30 seconds after arriving on scene. Roger said the second person in the vehicle then went back to their truck and got a gun but “couldn’t see because of the lights.”

The teen testified Friday that the second man went to their Dodge truck and got a gun which he pointed at Anthony.

Both the defence and Crown say Anthony then fatally shot Maurice Cardinal multiple times.

When Sgt. Reister asks Bilodeau how many times Anthony fired, Roger Bilodeau gives a small laugh and tells the officer: “Two for sure.”

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In security video from a nearby CNRL gas plant, the Bilodeaus can be seen speaking with one another before driving off without appearing to check on either victim.

They did not call RCMP, though Roger told police he did suggest it.

“We just made a bad judgement call. We should have called right off the hop. It would have been less than what it is now.”

In the audio and video statements played in court, Bilodeau did not express remorse for the victims but did tell the officer: “I just feel bad for Anthony.”

Roger Bilodeau’s teenage son who witnessed the entire event is expected to testify Friday afternoon.

 

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