Verdict to come in August after trial for Inuvik man charged with fatally shooting polar bear out of season

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An NWT Territorial Court judge is to deliver her verdict on August 26 after a trial last week in Inuvik for a man charged with killing a polar bear out of season.

31-year-old Justin Elias of Inuvik says he shot and killed the bear last summer in self-defence.

Elias has pleaded not guilty to NWT Wildlife Act charges.

He reportedly testified felt that it was a situation where he could’ve been killed had he not taken action first.

Defence lawyer Kate Oja said her client was simply defending himself and his property.

Regulations stipulate that you can only hunt polar bears between December and May in the hunting zone north of Inuvik where the bear was shot last August and then only with a required hunting tag.

Elias wasn’t charged with the offence until January of this year.

Judge Christine Gagnon, the chief territorial court justice in the NWT,  is to announce her decision in court in Inuvik on August. 26th.

About the Author

John McFadden
John has been in the broadcast journalism industry since the 1980s. He has been a reporter in Yellowknife since 2012 and joined CKLB in January of 2018. John covers the crime and court beat as well as reporting on other areas including politics, business, entertainment and sports. He won seven national community newspaper awards while he was a journalist with Northern News Services Limited (NNSL). John worked in Ontario before coming North including stints as a TV sportscaster in Peterborough and senior news writer for CBC and CTV in downtown Toronto.