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Pre-trial begins for first-degree murder charge in death of Megan Gallagher

A man charged with first degree murder in the death of Megan Gallagher appeared in Saskatoon provincial court Monday to begin a preliminary trial.

Robert "Bobby" Thomas was arrested in Prince George, B.C. on Sep. 20, 2020 and charged with first-degree murder in Gallagher’s death.

He sat in the courtroom wearing an orange sweatshirt, silent and nodding to his lawyer periodically.

Details of the preliminary trial are subject to a publication ban.

Gallagher was last seen on Sept. 19, 2020. In January, 2021, police began treating the case as a homicide investigation. Gallagher's remains were ultimately found near St. Louis, roughly 100 kilometres northeast of Saskatoon, on the banks of the South Saskatchewan River on Sept. 29, 2022.

Tuesday will mark the third anniversary of the last time anyone saw or heard from Gallagher, and her father Brian is thankful for the amount of support he's received since then.

"Your support was immeasurable," Brian Gallagher said.

"That's some of the things I'm going to use to refill my cup — the warm wishes that we got from people yesterday."

On Sunday, dozens of people marched from Joe Gallagher Field in Saskatoon to River Landing to call awareness to missing and murdered Indigenous women and girls. Previously, the walk was to encourage people to come forward with information about Gallagher's whereabouts.

"I'm mostly just numb. We're tired; we're just listening. The same old things are going on," Brian said of the court process Monday.

Nine people were charged in connection with Gallagher's death — four with murder and five with aggravated assault, unlawful confinement and offering an indignity to human remains.

Brian and his wife Deb Gallagher say they’ve stopped counting their trips to the courthouse.

Monday marked the first preliminary trial for first-degree murder in Gallagher's death. Brian called the experience "surreal and a new experience."

"We'll just take it one step at a time. One day, one second, one moment," he said.

Previous sentences in the case detailed how Gallagher was brought to the garage of a home on the 700 block of Weldon Avenue in Saskatoon in September 2020. She was then tied to a chair, covered in plastic wrap and killed. Gallagher’s body remained in the garage for two days before Ernest Whitehead and John Sanderson, two of the nine accused, wrapped her body in a tarp and put it in the back of a truck.

The pair then drove Gallagher's remains to a bridge near One Arrow First Nation, but when an oncoming vehicle approached, Gallagher and Sanderson drove to the St. Louis Bridge and dumped Gallagher's remains in the river.

Three people — Ernest Whitehead, John Sanderson and Jessica Badger — were already sentenced for their role in the crimes. Top Stories

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