SASKATOON – The Crown was expected to present new evidence Friday that they didn’t have when they closed their case on the voir dire during Greg Fertuck’s first-degree murder trial.
Justice Richard Danyliuk’s decision on the voir dire, which wrapped up in January, was set for March 30 but the case was adjourned to April 29 after the Crown told the court they had new evidence.
Fertuck is accused of killing his estranged wife 51-year-old Sheree Fertuck. She was last seen leaving her family’s farmhouse near Kenaston on Dec. 7, 2015, to haul rock to a nearby gravel pit. The body of the mother of three has never been found. In April 2016, police determined that Sheree Fertuck was a victim of a homicide.
Fertuck, now 68, was arrested June 24, 2016, near Saskatoon and charged with first-degree murder after he told an undercover officer posing as a crime boss in a Mr. Big sting that he shot his estranged wife twice with a .22 calibre rifle and put her body in the gravel pit, court heard.
During case management March 17, which media was allowed to attend, Prosecutor Cory Bliss told Saskatoon Court of Queen’s Bench that the RCMP had presented the Crown with new evidence they didn’t have when it closed its case on the voir dire.
Defence hasn't decided if they will allow the application but Mike Nolin told the court the evidence will likely be admissible in the trial proper.
“Not consenting to it in a voir dire is pointless,” said Nolin in March. “I don’t suspect the Crown will have much difficulty convincing you its admissible.”
Justice Danyliuk said out of an abundance of caution he still needed to “hear the evidence," adding that verdicts in Mr. Big operations are often appealed.
Mr. Big stings are covert operations used by the RCMP where undercover police pose as fictitious criminal organizations to gain a confession. Before the RCMP launch a Mr. Big sting, they place the suspect under surveillance for weeks to learn about his habits and personality. They then come up with an interactive scenario for the suspect.
The judge alone trial has been in a voir dire to determine if statements Fertuck made to undercover RCMP officers during a Mr. Big sting should be admissible as evidence. Fertuck's trial started September 2021 and has been adjourned several times.