An Alberta man who is facing second-degree murder charges in the deaths of two Métis hunters said he was fearing for his family as he drove to the scene of the eventual event.
On Wednesday, Anthony Bilodeau, 33, took the stand in his second-degree murder trial. Anthony’s father Roger Bilodeau, 58 are both facing second-degree murder charges in relation to the March 2020 deaths of Jacob Sansom, 39, and Maurice Cardinal, 57.
Anthony and Roger have both pleaded not guilty to the charges and defense counsel is arguing they acted in self-defence in the event that unfolded on a rural road near Glendon.
The Court of Queen’s Bench in Edmonton heard on Wednesday that Anthony was at home talking with his wife when he got a call from his father and younger brother, 16-year-old Joseph Bilodeau, at 9:47 p.m. The duo told Anthony they were following a pickup truck they believed had been in their yard earlier in the day and were following the driver to find out what they were doing in the yard.
Anthony Bilodeau to testify in own defence
Anthony, who says he was sleep deprived from calving season and working as a mechanic, jumped in his truck to catch up with his brother and father, bringing a gun for self-protection.
“He said ‘I don’t know if these guys are armed but grab a gun just in case, because we’re defenceless and unarmed',” Anthony said.
The son said his father didn’t call the police because there wasn’t enough time.
“It was urgent. He needed help right now,” Anthony said.
During the last seven days of testimony, the father and sons have described following Sansom and Cardinal in their truck and the scene that unfolded when they caught up to them.
As Anthony drove to the scene, his father and brother were in a physical altercation with one of the men they were following.
“I heard my dad yell ‘Joe look out',’” Anthony said. “And then I heard this smashing of the window.”
As Anthony continued to drive to the scene, he said he heard a man’s voice say ‘go get a knife so I can kill these (men).’
"That’s when I heard my brother pleading ‘Don’t kill my dad',” Anthony said.
As the son was driving to find his family, he said he was devastated and worried he wasn’t going to make it in time.
“I was wiping tears on the way there,” Anthony said.
Through the testimony of the Bilodeau men, the court heard that Roger’s truck got stuck in a ditch and as Anthony arrived, he claimed he repeatedly tried to calm the situation down, telling the men he just wanted to talk.
After Anthony arrived, one man started walking toward him, wanting to take his gun and Anthony shot him. The second man went to his truck to get a firearm, telling Anthony he was going to kill him. Anthony testified that his gun jammed between shots.
“Then I shot, twice, quickly,” Anthony said. "One right after the other."
After the two men were shot, the three Bilodeau family members went to Anthony’s shop and didn’t report what happened that night.
Anthony went on to destroy the weapon he used in the shootings.
“I cut it up,” Anthony said. “I was afraid of going to jail for protecting my family.”
Anthony also removed some headlights from his truck, which he took to the dump with the parts of the gun.
On March 31, Sgt. Christian Reister interviewed Anthony and asked him if he knew anything about the incident that left the two men dead.
"There was nothing out of the ordinary. We didn't hear anything," Anthony said, at the time.
Anthony said him and his wife went to bed and slept with the window open that night and didn’t hear any vehicles racing outside his window.
At the end of the interview, Reister asked if Anthony had any involvement in the events that night. He denied any involvement. Anthony said he would be willing to provide DNA and take a polygraph test.
The 10-day trial will continue through the week.