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A look at key events in the investigation and murder trial of Gerald Stanley


BATTLEFORD, Sask. — A jury has found Saskatchewan farmer Gerald Stanley not guilty in the shooting death of Colten Boushie, a 22-year-old resident of the Red Pheasant First Nation.

Here is a look at key events in the second-degree murder investigation and trial:

Aug. 9, 2016: RCMP receive a phone call from Stanley on his farm near Biggar, Sask. Police arrive and find Boushie dead with a bullet wound to the back of his head. He is lying on the ground near a disabled grey Ford Escape. Stanley, his wife and son are taken into custody. His wife and son are released a short time later.

Aug. 10, 2016: RCMP issue a news release saying five people were in a vehicle that drove onto private property. Mounties say words were exchanged in an attempt to get the vehicle to leave before shots were fired. Police say three people from the vehicle were taken into custody as part of a theft investigation but officers were still looking for a male youth. Stanley is tested for gunshot residue, photographed and charged with second-degree murder.

Aug. 12, 2016: Boushie's cousin, Eric Meechance, says the group in the SUV was heading home to the Red Pheasant First Nation and had gone to the Stanley farm for help with a flat tire. 

Aug. 14, 2016: With tensions building, Saskatchewan Premier Brad Wall issues a Facebook post condemning "racist and hate-filled" comments on social media. "None of us should be jumping to any conclusions about what happened. We should trust the RCMP to do their work," Wall says.

Aug. 18, 2016: Stanley makes an appearance in North Battleford, Sask., court and pleads not guilty. His lawyer asks that Stanley be granted bail. The courtroom is packed with Boushie's friends and family.

Aug. 19, 2016: Stanley is granted bail by a Court of Queen's Bench justice. His bail is set at $10,000 and includes a number of conditions, including that he stay within 6.4 kilometres of his home and to have no contact with Boushie's family or any witnesses.

Aug. 20, 2016: Mounties warn that some of the comments posted on social media could be criminal.

Aug. 24, 2016: A rural councillor, Ben Kautz, resigns after posting that Stanley's "only mistake was leaving witnesses." The comment is later removed from a Saskatchewan farm group's Facebook page and the group is shut down. Kautz's wife says the post was written in the heat of the moment and her husband regrets it. She says the family has had thousands of dollars worth of tools and gas stolen from their farm in the past.  

April 3, 2017: Preliminary inquiry begins to determine if there is enough evidence to send the case to trial.

April 6, 2017: A judge orders Stanley to stand trial on a charge of second-degree murder.

Aug. 2, 2017:  A trial date is set for Jan. 29, 2018.

Nov. 2, 2017: An internal RCMP investigation clears officers who were accused of mistreating Boushie's family. The family had filed a complaint about how they were treated when they were notified of his death in August 2016. The RCMP report says the complaint was unfounded.

Jan. 29, 2018: Jury selection takes place at the Alex Dillabough Centre in Battleford. A jury of seven women and five men is selected from a pool of more than 200 people. Saskatchewan Chief Justice Martel Popescul, in his opening address to jurors, says he expects the public to be well-behaved during the trial.

Jan. 30, 2018: The Crown calls its first witnesses.

Feb. 2, 2018: — The Crown wraps up its case.

Feb. 5, 2018: — Opening statement from defence. Stanley is called to testify.

Feb. 8, 2018: — Closing arguments from both sides. The jury begins deliberating at 4 p.m. local time.

Feb. 9, 2018: — The jury finds Stanley not guilty of second-degree murder after deliberating for 13 hours.

The Canadian Press

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