An Alberta man found guilty of manslaughter in the deaths of two Metis hunters is appealing his conviction and sentence.
Roger Bilodeau was convicted in May and sentenced to 10 years in prison for the deaths of Jacob Sansom and Maurice Cardinal, who were shot and killed on a rural Alberta road after a brief vehicle pursuit in March, 2020.
Mr. Bilodeau’s son Anthony, who was tried at the same time as his father, was convicted of second-degree murder in Mr. Cardinal’s death and found guilty of manslaughter in Mr. Sansom’s death.
Roger Bilodeau argues in his appeal that the trial judge failed to properly instruct the jury on party liability, particularly the underlying elements needed to prove common intention required in the Criminal Code.
In trial, prosecutors argued the elder Mr. Bilodeau took the law into his own hands when he asked his son to bring a gun while he chased the truck Mr. Sansom and Mr. Cardinal were driving.
The Crown argued that the father and son were angry because they thought the two hunters were trying to steal from them.
Anthony Bilodeau is expected to be sentenced later this year.
The court heard that Mr. Sansom, 39, and Mr. Cardinal, 57, had been moose hunting near Glendon, Alta., in March, 2020, so they could fill the family’s freezer with meat as COVID-19 was shutting down businesses.
Justice Eric Macklin said that Mr. Sansom and Mr. Cardinal were not only providers for their families, but also the community at large by doing things such as giving food for families in need.
“Jacob Sansom and Maurice Cardinal were pillars of their community,” Justice Macklin said last month at Roger Bilodeau’s sentencing last month.
“They were described as men who honoured Mother Earth and were knowledge keepers of their culture. No sentence can relieve the heartbreak, anger and hurt suffered by the victims’ families and friends.”
Editor’s note: (Sept. 20, 2022): This story has been updated to correct the first name of Anthony Bilodeau.