One of the people charged in the death of Megan Gallagher is being released ahead of trial.
Roderick Sutherland, who is charged with first degree murder in Gallagher’s death was granted bail after a hearing Thursday afternoon at King’s Bench Court in Saskatoon. As part of his release Sutherland must abide by a number of conditions including observing a 24 hour curfew, which includes electronic monitoring. He is also not permitted to contact any of the other people charged in Gallagher’s death. The Crown did not object to Sutherland’s release.
Speaking to media after the hearing Megan’s father Brian Gallagher said it was hard for him and his family to return to court.
“After all of the pre-trails were over we thought we would have a break from all of this, I am not sure the number anymore, but it’s over 150 different times we’ve been to court, so we were a little shocked when we found out last (Wednesday) night that we were going to be in court again today,” he said.
When he was informed by the Crown that Sutherland was going to be in court Gallagher said he was hit with some very rough emotions.
“It was a real kick in the gut, I didn’t sleep well last (Wednesday) night, I haven’t been eating right again and it reminded me of the first days when Megan went missing, the same kind of emotions and feelings,” he said.
Gallagher also expressed his frustration that Sutherland, who is charged with first degree murder is allowed to seek and be granted bail under the law. He added it is hard for the entire family that someone facing such a serious charge can be released.
“That really tore us apart and it was hard to get our head around, because it’s a first degree murder charge,” he said.
Along with the emotional toll on the family, Gallagher was concerned about the message that the release of Sutherland sends as there is a push to get people who know about serious crimes to come forward and tell what they know. He said getting people to come forward with information is crucial to combatting the disproportionate level of violence which impacts Indigenous people.
“When people in society hear that this is what can happen when you break the silence, it really has to cause some distress for them, ‘should I speak now, because if I speak, who knows what can happen’, there’s the apathy that can be there and there’s also the fear for some people,” he said.
(Top Photo: Brian Gallagher getting ready to speak to media Thursday afternoon outside of King’s Bench Court in Saskatoon. Photo by Michael Joel-Hansen.)