Testimony takes odd turn

A man shot while driving a quad testified on Tuesday that people thought he was driving an ATV towards a man shining a spotlight on him.

A man shot while driving a quad testified on Tuesday that people thought he was driving an ATV towards a man shining a spotlight on him.

Jonathan Mackinaw, 19, was shot in the ankle with a .22-calibre rifle by Gerry Edward Bigchild on May 24.

Bigchild, 19, from the Sunchild First Nation Reserve near Rocky Mountain House, is charged with aggravated assault, possession of a weapon for the purpose of committing an offence, careless use of a firearm and using a firearm while committing an indictable offence.

Defence lawyer Luke Kurata started his examination of Mackinaw by asking Mackinaw if he had discussed the case outside court before testifying.

Mackinaw denied that but said that people thought he was trying to run Bigchild’s grandfather over for shining a spotlight on him.

“Where did you get that idea that you were trying to run over (Gerry) Redbear?” Kurata asked.

“Did you get it from God?”

“Yeah, from God,” Mackinaw replied.

Kurata didn’t continue his questioning.

Mackinaw told Crown prosecutor Wayne Silliker under questioning that he never tried to drive at Redbear.

A Red Deer Court of Queen’s Bench jury is expected to hear closing arguments today.

Justice Alan Macleod will then instruct the jury, which will have to decide if it was reasonable or reckless for Bigchild to shoot Mackinaw, who was riding a stolen ATV on land near his residence about 2 a.m.

Silliker said in his opening remarks that the cased hinges on whether Bigchild was justified in shooting because he was defending his property.

On Monday, the defence admitted that Bigchild shot Mackinaw in the ankle, knocking him off the ATV, which then ran him over, breaking his left leg.

The incident occurred on property where Bigchild lived next to his grandfather Gerry Redbear.

Mackinaw testified he was riding his ATV with a 17-year-old friend, looking for a place to buy marijuana, when they became stuck in muskeg in a field near Bigchild and Redbear’s houses.

He said they weren’t riding on Redbear’s land and were headed for the main gravel road in the area after coming out of the bush on a cutline.

The 17-year-old, whose identity is protected under terms of the Youth Criminal Justice Act, testified before Mackinaw and their testimony was basically the same.

Both said they got stuck in the muskeg and the 17-year-old’s stolen ATV stalled because of a dead battery.

He then started pushing Mackinaw before the shooting.

After he fell off the ATV, Mackinaw said Redbear came up to him and said “I should get my rifle and finish you off.”

Redbear said he was phoned by Bigchild, who said three people were on their land trying to steal ATVs. Redbear said he was about eight metres away from his grandson when he shone the strong spotlight.

Redbear said he heard gunshots and shouted to his grandson, “What are you doing?”

There was no reply.

Court heard earlier that Bigchild fired three shots in the air from the scope mounted rifle.

A police statement reader earlier quoted Bigchild as saying he fired shots to scare the intruders off and didn’t intend to hurt anyone.

The defence contends that Bigchild was trying to protect his grandfather and his family and their property.

jwilson@bprda.wpengine.com