Judge to decide if New Brunswick police officers to face manslaughter trial

Judge to rule if police to be tried in death

BATHURST, N.B. — A New Brunswick judge is expected to decide today if two Bathurst police officers will stand trial in the shooting death of a Tracadie businessman two years ago.

Const. Patrick Bulger and Const. Mathieu Boudreau are each charged with manslaughter with a weapon, two counts of assault with a weapon, and two counts of unlawfully pointing a firearm in the death of Michel Vienneau.

The 51-year-old was shot outside the Bathurst train station on Jan. 12, 2015 during what police said was a drug probe.

An RCMP investigation later revealed that Vienneau, who owned an electronics store, was not involved in criminal activity.

Vienneau’s common-law partner was with him in a vehicle at the time of the shooting, and alleges in a statement of claim that his death was caused by police negligence.

In a statement of defence, the City of Bathurst said the officers clearly identified themselves to Vienneau and had tried to stop his vehicle before it accelerated.

None of the allegations and statements have been proven in court.

Judge Anne Dugas-Horsman, of Moncton, conducted preliminary hearings for both officers and will decide if there is enough evidence to proceed to trial.

If so, both have already elected to be tried by judge and jury in the Court of Queen’s Bench.

The Canadian Press