Sentencing hearing for man convicted of killing of two Métis hunters in rural Alberta

Jake (Jacob) Sansom (left) and his uncle Morris (Maurice) Cardinal are shown in a handout photo from the Facebook page “Justice for Jake and Morris.” The sentencing hearing for Anthony Bilodeau, who was convicted last year for their deaths, began Friday in Edmonton. THE CANADIAN PRESS/HO-Facebook-Justice for Jake and Morris **MANDATORY CREDIT

Jake (Jacob) Sansom (left) and his uncle Morris (Maurice) Cardinal are shown in a handout photo from the Facebook page “Justice for Jake and Morris.” The sentencing hearing for Anthony Bilodeau, who was convicted last year for their deaths, began Friday in Edmonton. THE CANADIAN PRESS/HO-Facebook-Justice for Jake and Morris **MANDATORY CREDIT

A lawyer representing an Alberta man convicted in the killings of two Metis hunters says his client was defending himself and his family, while prosecutors argue he was one of the aggressors.

The sentencing hearing began today in Edmonton for Anthony Bilodeau, who was found guilty in May of second-degree murder in the death of Maurice Cardinal and manslaughter in the death of Jacob Sansom.

Sansom, who was 39, and Cardinal, who was 57, had been moose hunting in March 2020, before they were shot and left on the side of the road near Glendon, Alta., a rural community about 200 kilometres northeast of Edmonton.

Bilodeau’s father, Roger Bilodeau, was convicted of manslaughter in the two killings and sentenced 10 years in prison.

Anthony Bilodeau faces an automatic life sentence, and the parole ineligibility period for second-degree murder must be at least 10 years.

The Crown has asked that Bilodeau serve 15 years before he can apply for parole, while the defence is recommending the minimum 10 years.

Defence lawyer Brian Beresh argued in court Friday that Bilodeau reacted to the altercation that was before him.

“This is a unique case,” Beresh said. “His action and conduct must be seen as being reactionary.”

The Crown said that the father and son took the law into their own hands when they chased down Sansom and Cardinal because they believed the hunters were attempting to steal from their family farm.

“The Bilodeaus were the aggressors,” said Crown attorney Jordan Kerr.

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