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Roger Bilodeau seeks new trial, files appeal

One of the two men found guilty in connection to the deaths of Jacob Sansom and Maurice Cardinal in Northern Alberta is appealing both convictions.

LAKELAND - A notice of appeal has been filed on behalf of Roger Bilodeau, one of two men who were found guilty in relation to the deaths of Jacob Sansom and Maurice Cardinal.

On Aug. 26, Roger Bilodeau, 58, was sentenced to 10 years, minus time served. Roger and his son, Anthony, had been jointly charged with second-degree murder. Following a trial in May, a jury found Roger guilty of manslaughter with a firearm in both deaths.

Sansom and Cardinal were found dead on a rural road outside of Glendon, in March of 2020. The men had both been shot.

The appeal was filed by the Court of Appeal of Alberta on Sept. 19, 2022. Bilodeau is appealing both convictions.

According to the notice of appeal, the relief sought is "convictions quashed or in the alternative, new trial ordered."

"If a new trial is ordered and the appellant has a right to trial by judge and jury, the appellant wishes the new trial to be by judge and jury," reads the document.

The grounds for the appeal stated as: "The Learned Trial Justice failed to properly instruct the Jury on party liability and specifically with respect to the underlying elements of the unlawful purpose needed to be proven to convict based on common intention required by Section 21 (2) of the Criminal Code of Canada."

Also, "Such further and other grounds of appeal which will be revealed upon review of the Trial transcripts."

Honourable Justice Eric F. Macklin was the presiding judge in the case. 

In the conclusion of his reasons for sentencing, Macklin wrote "Roger Bilodeau is sentenced to a global period of incarceration of 10 years on two counts of manslaughter in the deaths of Jacob Sansom and Maurice Cardinal. He shall receive credit of 1,624 days for presentence time spent in custody."

The sentencing document further stated, "Roger Bilodeau is prohibited from possessing any firearm pursuant to s 109 of the Criminal Code and must provide a sample of bodily substance reasonably required for the purposes of forensic DNA analysis."

Macklin presented his decision in court on Aug. 26.

In the written document made available after the sentencing, Macklin wrote that "Roger Bilodeau clearly knew that he had begun a high-speed chase in the dark on a rural road in Alberta. It was dangerous. He was angry, though his anger was clearly misplaced. He could have called the police, but he did not do so, ostensibly because of his knowledge of the rural location and the length of time it would take the police to respond."

The judge added, "He decided to take matters into his own hands. He called his son Anthony to assist. While the defence argues that he did not tell Andrew to bring ammunition, I do not believe this to be somehow mitigating. Telling someone to bring a gun necessarily implies that ammunition will come with it. The gun loses its raison d'être without it."

Following the trial, Anthony was found guilty of second-degree murder in the shooting of Cardinal and guilty of manslaughter in the death of Jacob. He is set to be sentenced later this year.

Janice Huser

About the Author: Janice Huser

Janice Huser has been with the St. Paul Journal since 2006. She is a graduate of the SAIT print media journalism program, is originally from St. Paul and has a passion for photography.
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