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Appeal decisions pending for men found guilty of killing Métis hunters

Two men found guilty of killing Métis hunters Jacob Sansom and Maurice Cardinal are asking for their convictions to be overturned.

Roger and Anthony Bilodeau were both found guilty after a jury trial in 2022. The court heard that on the night of March 27, 2020, Roger Bilodeau started a high-speed car chase, incorrectly assuming Sansom and Cardinal were thieves while they returned from a moose-hunting trip.

During the pursuit, Roger Bilodeau called his son Anthony and told him to bring a gun — when he arrived, he shot and killed the hunters.

Anthony Bilodeau’s lawyers made appeal arguments in court Wednesday. His father, Roger, who was found guilty of manslaughter, is waiting for a decision in his own appeal from last fall. 

Sansom and Cardinal’s family members gathered again at the Edmonton courthouse for the appeal hearing, almost four years after the uncle and nephew were fatally shot on a rural Alberta road.

Gina Levasseur, Sansom’s sister and Cardinal’s niece, said Wednesday that the ongoing legal process has repeatedly sent the family back into anger and grief.

But she said it’s important for them to keep showing up for their loved ones.

“They need to see that the boys were good and loved,” she said.

“We just want the truth to be known, and we would like some justice for our boys, because we are missing pillars from our community, knowledge keepers that we don’t have.”

Anthony Bilodeau was convicted of second-degree murder and manslaughter, and sentenced to life in prison with no parole eligibility for 13 years.

He appeared by video conference from prison Wednesday as defence lawyers Deborah Hatch and Caitlin Dick argued in the Alberta Court of Appeal that the trial judge erred with jury instructions, as well as decisions that some testimony wasn’t relevant, and should be limited.

An appeal hearing was also held last fall for Roger Bilodeau, sentenced to 10 years in prison on two counts of manslaughter.

A panel of Court of Appeal justices reserved their decisions in both cases.

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