Dagenais Murder Trial Hears Stirring Testimony

Thursday, February 26, 2009 at 19:18



The Member of Parliament for Desnethe-Missinipi-Churchill River testified today at a Saskatoon murder trial for a man charged with killing two RCMP officers.


Rob Clarke was a sergeant with the Spiritwood RCMP detachment on July 7th, 2006 when Curt Dagenais allegedly shot two of Clarke’s colleagues.


Clarke became emotional on the stand when referring to the fallen officers.


He says many people don’t realize he and Cst. Robin Cameron were fourth cousins — and like Cameron, he is of First Nations ancestry.


Clarke says it’s hard to go back to that night, but he wants to support the victims’ families.


He testified he wasn’t working that night but was at the neighbouring town’s country jamboree when one of his constables called him about a domestic dispute involving Dagenais.


Clarke testified he got in his car to head back to Spiritwood and had the police radio on when he heard Cameron say that Dagenais had tried to run her over, so they were in pursuit of him to arrest him.


As the detachment’s sergeant, Clarke was in command of the pursuit that night.


He testified he never told the officers to cease the pursuit, because neither public safety nor the officers’ safety appeared to be an issue.


Earlier in the day, one of the first officers to respond to the shooting testified he heard Cst. Michelle Knopp crying and screaming on the police radio, saying that Cameron and Cst. Marc Bourdages had been shot.


Cpl. Jason Teniuk said he then told Knopp to meet him on a nearby gravel road, where he found her crying. He said she was also pushing him away in shock.


Teniuk testified he asked her what had happened, and if she had shot back. She replied that she had. He said based on the number of rounds that were left in her magazine, it appeared she had fired three shots.


Teniuk also told the court he was eventually made responsible for finding Bourdages. He testified he found him lying in the grass and he could tell he was still alive.


Teniuk said he went to pick up the fallen officer under the arm, when he noticed the back half of Bourdages’ head was missing.


The families of the two dead officers started sobbing in court after Teniuk made that statement.