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Family and friends of slain men gather outside St. Paul courthouse in show of solidarity

ST. PAUL - The family and friends of two men killed in the Glendon area gathered outside the St. Paul courthouse Thursday morning, while inside the two men each charged with two counts of second degree murder in the case appeared before the judge via closed circuit TV.

Anthony Bilodeau of Glendon was charged in early April and Roger Bilodeau was charged last week in connection with the shooting deaths of Jacob Sansom and Maurice Cardinal on a rural road on the night of March 27. Following today's appearance, both men will be back before the court on July 16 and remain in custody.

Bruce Gladue, an advocate for the family of the deceased, said the group of about 30 people had gathered in a show of support to the family of the slain men.

"It's horrific and they (the public) should be horrified that this still happens in Canada today, in Alberta. Without knowing the specifics, the back story of this, and that will come out during the court process, it's still two people are dead because of something. Whatever caused that person to shoot them, what's that story? How did you get so angry that you were able to do that," Gladue questioned.

"There are families now that are left in turmoil - not only the families of the folks that got shot but even the accused's. What was so horrifically happening in your life that you did that?"

There is a community of Métis people standing behind the family, and they will continue to do so as the case proceeds through the court system, Gladue said.

"Right to the end, we will be here. You have ordinary Métis citizens, you have elected officials from the Métis Nation. It's not the size of the crowd, it's the fact that there are people here to support them."

Duane Zaraska, Métis Nation of Alberta Zone 2 president, was among the group.

"We have to stand for justice and that is why we are all here. Justice has to be served here. We've got two Métis men who were the kindest, most gentlest people in the world that would give the shirt of their back. What has happened is horrific. It was uncalled for. All they were doing was practicing their traditional harvesting rights, looking just to support their families. It's very unnecessary. It's very tragic."

Related links:

2nd man faces murder charges in shooting deaths of two Alberta hunters

Glendon man charged with two counts of murder

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