Greg Fertuck: Saskatchewan judge dismisses request to reopen accused killer’s trial

Greg Fertuck: Saskatchewan judge dismisses request to reopen accused killer’s trial

A King’s Bench judge dismissed Greg Fertuck’s last-minute requests to reopen his trial so he could bring in a new firearms expert or seek a mistrial.

On Wednesday, Judge Richard Danyliuk filed a 26-page document clearly rejecting Fertuck’s “ill-conceived” requests. Instead, he will proceed with the verdict on Friday as scheduled.

“In a long and somewhat strange trial, full of twists and turns, traumas and tribulations, what’s one more?” Danyliuk said at the beginning of his decision.

“This is a first-degree murder trial. The stakes are high. For Fertuck, they couldn’t be older. I understand this. While every possible adjustment is made to ensure fairness (for both parties), at some point there must be finality.”

Greg Fertuck is charged with first-degree murder in the death of his ex-wife, Sheree Fertuck. The 51-year-old woman disappeared in 2015. The Crown believes Fertuck shot Sheree in a gravel pit near Kenaston, Sask. Her body has never been found.

Last week, just days before the verdict, Fertuck asked to restart the trial and have a new firearms expert testify. On Monday, when the court heard arguments in favor of the request, Fertuck said he never intended to request a mistrial.

In his decision, Danyliuk reviewed the numerous delays and twists and turns the trial has taken since it began in September 2021, some of which were related to the COVID-19 pandemic, others stemming from Fertuck’s volatile and erratic behavior.

Fertuck wanted to reopen the trial because he believed the gun the Crown alleges he used to kill Sheree had no rust on it, even after being exposed to the elements for six years.

He expected the gun to be tested at a newly opened weapons lab operated by the Saskatchewan Firearms Bureau and located at the Saskatoon Police Service station.

Fertuck said he did not have the $20,000 needed to hire his own expert, something Danyliuk disagreed with.

Danyliuk said that based on the evidence, Fertuck should have about $350,000 in his pension. Fertuck responded by saying that he had not had time to review his own finances, even though he has been in custody since June 2019.

“Without even checking his own finances (from time to time), he chose not to do so. He did not exercise due diligence, from time to time. He is the author of his own situation,” Danyliuk said.

Fertuck also said he mistakenly requested a mistrial because he felt it could help with the verdict if he could prove that the shell casings found in the gravel pit were not fired by the gun in question. An RCMP forensic specialist had previously linked the shell casings to the gun.

“Mr. Fertuck’s ‘plan’ to reopen for more scientific evidence before this Court is not a real plan at all. At worst, he is fishing. At best, he is investigating,” Danyliuk said in your decision.

“There is no basis in fact, either in the evidence before me, or in law to grant any of the relief requested by Mr. Fertuck. His request was ill-conceived and without legal basis and is dismissed in its entirety” .

Danyliuk is scheduled to give his verdict on Friday.

-With files from Laura Woodward