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Fertuck found guilty of first-degree murder in wife's death

Verdict handed down despite attempts by Fertuck to disrupt the normal schedule of events.
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SASKATOON - Eight and a half years after the disappearance of Kenaston-area resident Sheree Fertuck, a 51-year old mother of three, and five years after he was arrested and charged with her death and disappearance, Gregory Mitchell Fertuck heard his fate in a Saskatoon courtroom on Friday, June 14.

Facing a first-degree murder charge, Fertuck stood and faced the packed room at the Court of King's Bench that morning. Justice Richard Danyliuk's decision came in at a length of 87 pages, so he instead provided an oral summary to those gathered in court.

Describing the legal proceedings as a "long, complex trial", Danyliuk highlighted that by all accounts, Greg and Sheree's marriage was a rocky one, with a family law matter having been underway at the time of her disappearance. The trial had heard that the couple was separated, and Sheree was preparing to file for divorce. Greg wanted $15,000 from his pension, but Sheree refused to consent until they had worked out the property division.

Soon, Sheree "vanished without a trace", uncharacteristic of the dedicated mother of three, and what followed were "massive police resources" being dedicated to finding out what had happened to her.

The judge acknowledged that there does not have to be a body in order to prosecute a homicide, and a strong circumstantial case can still result in a conviction.

Delving into the details and findings of the 'Mr. Big' sting operation that was carried out, Justice Danyliuk highlighted that Greg Fertuck had told undercover officers during that time period that he had shot Sheree twice, with two shells having been found at the gravel pit later. Fertuck then threw the murder weapon, a Ruger 10/22, into a field near the town of Biggar. It was later found in that area during the trial. Danyliuk said that he found Fertuck's confession of his actions to undercover officers to be "chilling and convincing", with Greg appearing to be eager to tell the officers that he had killed his estranged wife.

What Fertuck told officers during the course of the Mr. Big sting was found to be confirmed by many other types of evidence, with more veracity and truth than his statements to known police officers.

"You killed Sheree," Justice Danyliuk said in court, addressing Fertuck. "I find as a fact that you did so by shooting her twice with your 22 Ruger rifle."

Fertuck told officers that Sheree had threatened to "take him to the cleaners", and so he walked over to this truck, took out his loaded gun, walked back to where they had been arguing at the gravel pit, and shot her twice. One of the shots came execution-style, undoubtedly proving an intent to kill, said Danyliuk.

With that, the judge found Fertuck guilty of first-degree murder, as well as guilty of indecently interfering with human remains. A first-degree murder conviction carries a mandatory life sentence with no chance of parole for 25 years.

The sentencing of Greg Fertuck is scheduled for Thursday afternoon, July 4, which will allow family members time to prepare victim impact statements.
Sheree was last seen leaving her mother's farm near Kenaston just after 1:00 PM on December 7, 2015, heading to a gravel pit with her semi truck. To this day, her body has ever been found.