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Appeals dismissed for father, son convicted in killings of Métis hunters

The Court of Appeal of Alberta has upheld convictions against a father and son found guilty in the shooting deaths of Métis hunters Jacob Sansom and Maurice Cardinal.

In separate decisions Monday, appeal panels rejected the applications of Anthony Bilodeau and his father, Roger Bilodeau.

Following a trial in 2022, a jury found Anthony Bilodeau guilty of second-degree murder in the death of Maurice Cardinal and guilty of manslaughter in Jacob Sansom’s death. Roger Bilodeau was found guilty of manslaughter in both deaths.

On March 27, 2020, Roger Bilodeau pursued the two hunters in a high-speed chase, incorrectly assuming Sansom and Cardinal were thieves while they returned from a moose hunting trip.

As Roger Bilodeau pursued the hunters through a remote area near Glendon, Alta., he called his son and told him to bring a gun. Court heard that when Anthony Bilodeau arrived, he shot Sansom and Cardinal.

During the trial, self-defence was the main issue. In his appeal, Anthony Bilodeau’s lawyer argued that the jury wasn’t properly instructed about self-defence, among other grounds.

But in a unanimous decision Monday, the appeal court panel dismissed each ground.

The judges who heard Roger Bilodeau’s appeal were split — a 2-1 majority decided to uphold his convictions. His lawyer also argued that jurors weren’t properly instructed. Justice Dawn Pentelechuk dissented, writing that she would have ordered a new trial.

Anthony Bilodeau is serving a life sentence, with no chance of parole for 13 years. 

Roger Bilodeau was handed a 10-year sentence and granted credit for nearly half that term for time already served in pre-trial custody. He was granted day parole on April 25.

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