RCMP officer who interrogated Greg Fertuck testifies about 'red flag'
Am RCMP officer who interrogated a man accused of murdering his estranged wife remembers a “red flag” during the interview.
Sgt. Charles Lerat took the stand in Greg Fertuck’s murder trial.
Fertuck has pleaded not-guilty to first-degree murder in connection to the disappearance of his wife, Sheree Fertuck. Her body has never been found.
Fertuck was initially arrested at his Saskatoon home in October 2017, about two years after Sheree was last seen.
At that time, Fertuck was taken into an RCMP interview room and questioned by Lerat and Sgt. Chad Clark.
Throughout the interview, Fertuck denied having any involvement in his estranged wife’s disappearance.
At one point during the six hour interview, officers brought in Fertuck’s youngest daughter and she urged her dad to “just tell the truth.”
Lerat testified on six occasions Fertuck made mention about not being able to “load” a 250 pound woman into the back of his truck.
“It’s significant because at no time during that interview did I ever say anything about Sheree Fertuck in the truck, or that she was dead,” Lerat told court.
“It was a red flag for me because those were comments that were made unsolicited.”
The defence suggested Fertuck’s response was not alarming, but rather logical and reasonable since RCMP told Fertuck that Sheree’s blood was detected in his truck.
The Crown believes Fertuck shot Sheree at a gravel pit near Kenaston, Sask., used a loader to move her body into his truck and dropped her off at another location.
Defence lawyer Morris Bodnar asked Lerat if he knew about witnesses seeing Sheree’s semi-truck at around 5 p.m. on Dec. 7, 2015 — the day Sheree was last seen.
Surveillance footage shows Fertuck at a car wash during that time.
“Either she was driving it, or her killer was driving it,” Bodnar said, during cross-examination.
Lerat said it “could very well be a case of mistaken identity of that truck.”
He testified he felt it was “very disturbing” that Fertuck didn’t help search for Sheree when she went missing.
Bodnar brought up the fact that two of Sheree’s children also didn’t search.
He asked Lerat about investigators getting tunnel vision, becoming fixated on a certain subject.
“The RCMP had made up their mind, that Greg Fertuck was guilty and you would do anything to get that out of him?” Bodnar asked.
Lerat said the purpose of the interview with Fertuck was to find the truth, not necessarily a confession.
“We got more of the truth, but not all of it,” Lerat testified.
Clark was the officer who arrested Fertuck.
He told court RCMP believed Fertuck was involved in Sheree’s disappearance based on interviews with family, the evidence of Sheree’s blood detected in Fertuck’s truck and Fertuck’s cell phone pinging in Kenaston.
Clark testified Fertuck never took a polygraph test.
During cross-examination, the defence said Fertuck signed a contract agreeing to take a polygraph test and provide his DNA.
Clark agreed Fertuck initially signed the contract but became uncooperative after Dec. 11, 2015.
The judge-alone trial is currently in a voir dire, a trial within a trial, to determine the admissibility of evidence.
The evidence about Fertuck’s interactions with undercover police officers is expected to surface later in the trial.
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