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Saskatchewan judge dismisses application to reopen trial of accused killer snared in 'Mr. Big' sting

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A King's Bench judge has dismissed Greg Fertuck's last-minute applications to either reopen his trial so he can bring in a new firearms expert, or apply for a mistrial.

On Wednesday, Justice Richard Danyliuk filed a 26-page fiat where he plainly rejected Fertuck's "ill-conceived" applications. Instead, he’ll proceed with the verdict on Friday as scheduled.

"In a long and somewhat bizarre trial full of twists and turns, trauma and tribulations — what's one more," Danyliuk said at the outset of his decision.

“This is a first-degree murder trial. The stakes are high. For Mr. Fertuck, they could not be higher. I understand this. While every possible accommodation is made to ensure fairness — to both sides — at some point there must be finality.”

Greg Fertuck is charged with first-degree murder in the death of his estranged wife, Sheree Fertuck. The 51-year-old woman went missing in 2015. The Crown believes Fertuck shot Sheree at 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 for the application, Fertuck said he never meant to file for a mistrial.

In his decision, Danyliuk went over the many delays and turns the trial has taken since it began in September 2021 — some of which were related to the COVID-19 pandemic, some stemming from Fertuck’s volatile and erratic behaviour.

Fertuck wanted to reopen the trial because he believed the gun the Crown alleges he used to kill Sheree didn't have any rust on it, even after being in the elements for six years.

He hoped to have the gun tested at a newly opened gun laboratory operated by the Saskatchewan Firearms Office and located at the Saskatoon Police Service station.

Fertuck said he didn't have the $20,000 required to hire his own expert, which Danyliuk didn't agree with.

Danyliuk said based on evidence, Fertuck should have about $350,000 in his pension. Fertuck replied saying he hadn't had the time to look at his own finances, even though he has been in jail on remand since June 2019.

"Without so much as checking his own finances (now or then), he opted not to. He did not exercise due diligence, now or then. He is the author of his own situation," Danyliuk said.

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

"Mr. Fertuck's 'plan' to reopen to get further scientific evidence before this Court is no real plan at all. He is at worst fishing. He is at best investigating," Danyliuk said in his decision.

"There is no basis in fact, in the evidence before me, or in law to grant any of the relief sought by Mr. Fertuck. His application was ill-conceived and without legal foundation and is dismissed in its entirety."

Danyliuk is scheduled to give a verdict on Friday.

-With files from Laura Woodward

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