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Two plead guilty in RCMP deaths

A gun that became part of James Roszko’s small arsenal in an ambush was wiped clean and put into a bag by two men accused of assisting him in the murder of four Mounties.

A gun that became part of James Roszko’s small arsenal in an ambush was wiped clean and put into a bag by two men accused of assisting him in the murder of four Mounties.

That was only one piece in mounting evidence from a court-agreed statement of facts that led to Shawn Hennessey, 29, and Dennis Cheeseman, 25, quietly admitting their part in the brutal 2005 quadruple murder.

The pair, sharing a bench in a jam-packed courtroom yesterday morning, pleaded guilty to four counts of manslaughter in the deaths of the officers, who were raiding Roszko’s Mayerthorpe area marijuana grow-op on March 3, 2005, before the gunman opened fire.

The brothers-in-law were initially charged with first-degree murder after their arrests in July 2007, but agreed to plead to lesser charges.

“Obviously they helped him,” Cheeseman’s longtime friend, Vicky Marsh, told Metro exclusively after hearing the news of plea.

“To the exact extent and why, we don’t know — to me, that’s the big question. I think they’re taking responsibility for what they might have done, or caused.”

New details in the expensive 28-month investigation were revealed yesterday. Registry records and DNA evidence found in a glove on Roszko’s farm after the massacre confirmed one of the firearms belonged to Hennessey, and the pair admitted to giving Roszko a ride back to his farm after the incident.

After shooting the four officers, Roszko turned the gun on himself. The shooting marked the largest single-day loss suffered by Canadian police forces in 100 years.

“Nothing can be done to bring back the four RCMP officers or bring Roszko to true justice … They shouldn’t be the justice for what Roszko did,” Marsh said.

 
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