Saskatoon

Greg Fertuck's murder trial nears end as defence closes case

The murder trial for Greg Fertuck — a Saskatoon man who told undercover police officers that he killed his wife — is approaching its end now that the evidence phase is over.

Closing arguments scheduled for Feb. 26 after Fertuck chooses not to testify

A close up photo showing an angry-looking man with a moustache.
Greg Fertuck has chosen not to testify at his murder trial. (Greg Fertuck/Facebook)

Greg Fertuck's first-degree murder trial is approaching its end. After years of delays and surprises in the courtroom, the  evidence phase of the trial concluded on Wednesday.

Fertuck is accused of killing his estranged wife Sheree in 2015. He is alleged to have shot her twice at the gravel pit where she worked near Kenaston, Sask.

Her remains have never been found.

Fertuck was arrested for murder after describing details of the killing to undercover police officers in 2019. He revealed the information in 2019 at the end of an elaborate undercover police investigation known as a Mr. Big sting.

The murder trial began at Saskatoon's Court of King's Bench (then called Court of Queen's Bench) in September 2021. The case has been delayed several times for various reasons: COVID-19, the discovery of the alleged murder weapon, and Fertuck's decision to represent himself in court after his lawyers withdrew from the case in October 2022.

WATCH | Greg Fertuck's murder trial nears end as defence closes case: 

Greg Fertuck's murder trial nears end as defence closes case

2 months ago
Duration 1:20
The murder trial for Greg Fertuck — a Saskatoon man who told undercover police officers that he killed his wife — is approaching its end now that the evidence phase is over.

The Crown closed its case after the judge ruled in September 2023 that all evidence gathered in the Mr. Big sting would be admissible to the trial. That evidence had been presented as part of a voir dire — a trial within a trial.

Fertuck, who is acting as his own lawyer, closed the defence's case on Wednesday after confirming in court that he did not want to testify.

A sketch shows a man standing in an orange shirt, wearing handcuffs.
A sketch of Greg Fertuck appearing in Court of King's Bench in Saskatoon on Feb. 20, 2024. (Kyle Martin/Kyle Martin Designs)

The Crown prosecutors and Fertuck are scheduled to make their final submissions to Justice Richard Danyliuk on Feb. 26, 2024.

"This is a complex case with a huge amount of evidence, but when you pare it down the task is straightforward. My job is to decide whether the Crown has proven every element … beyond a reasonable doubt," Danyliuk said.

Since Fertuck is self-represented, he will be assisted in preparing his submissions by Brent Little, who is acting as an amicus curiae (a friend of the court) in this matter.

On Tuesday, Fertuck called three witnesses for the defence: Sheree's younger brother Darren Sorotski, Fertuck's former lawyer Morris Bodnar and Robert McJannet, who knew details of the gravel pit.

Fertuck said he had initially planned to call a firearms expert, but told the court he didn't have enough money to do so.

Fertuck had told undercover police he killed Sheree with a Ruger 10/22 model. The suspected murder weapon was discovered midway through the trial and entered as new evidence.

A gun and ballistics expert who testified for the Crown earlier at the trial said gun shells found at the gravel pit, where Sheree disappeared, were fired from the Ruger 10/22.

LISTEN | The Pit podcast is back with a new episode as reporters learn whether the judge in the Fertuck trial will allow evidence gathered in undercover sting: 

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Kendall Latimer

Journalist

Kendall Latimer (she/her) is a journalist with CBC News in Saskatchewan. You can reach her by emailing kendall.latimer@cbc.ca.

with files from Pratyush Dayal

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