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Bradley Barton found guilty of manslaughter in death of Cindy Gladue

The man accused of fatally injuring Cindy Gladue inside a west Edmonton hotel suite nearly 10 years ago has been found guilty of manslaughter.

It took the 11-person jury about nine hours Friday to convict Bradley Barton, 52, in Gladue’s death.

The jury began deliberations Friday after being sequestered by Court of Queen’s Bench Justice Stephen Hillier the night before.

The case focused on Gladue’s last hours inside Room 139 at the Yellowhead Inn. 

Barton, a former long-distance truck driver from Ontario, was accused of causing a fatal injury to Gladue while they were having sex in June 2011. Barton admitted he caused the injury, but said he had no idea at the time that Gladue was hurt. 

Barton insisted the sex was rough but consensual, and said he was shocked to find Gladue dead the following morning. 

The arguments heard at trial centred on issues of consent and credibility, on Gladue’s fatal wound and the often graphic evidence that remains from that night almost 10 years ago.

The Indigenous mother of three was found dead on June 22, 2011. Her naked body was found in a blood-soaked bathtub.

Glaudue, 36, bled to death after suffering an 11-centimetre wound to her vaginal wall.

This was the second time Barton has faced trial for Gladue’s death. 

He was acquitted of both first-degree murder and manslaughter charges after a jury trial in 2015.

The acquittal triggered nationwide protests, calls for change in the justice system and raised questions about how it treats Indigenous women.  

Much of the outrage hinged on the fact that Gladue’s vaginal tissue was presented as evidence, an unprecedented move that was described as a final and cruel injustice to the victim. 

In 2017, the Alberta Court of Appeal overturned the decision and a new murder trial was ordered.

In 2019, the Supreme Court of Canada partially overturned that decision, ordering a new trial on the manslaughter charge only.

Gladue, a woman of Métis and Cree ancestry, had lived most of her life in Edmonton. She is survived by her mother and three daughters. 

Barton, who had previously been out on bail, will be taken into custody. His lawyer, Dino Bottos, said given that Barton lives in Mississauga, Ont., and has little money, his client preferred to relinquish himself into custody.

He will be sentenced at a later date. Hillier ordered a pre-sentence report be prepared but acknowledged that can take as long as eight weeks to prepare. A date for Barton’s sentencing hearing will be set next week.

Gladue in an undated photo posted on the Facebook site, In Loving Memory of Cindy Gladue. (In Loving Memory of Cindy Gladue/Facebook)


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bourbiza

Bourbiza Mohamed. Writer and Political Discourse Analysis.

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