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Terror Squad gang member sentenced to 5.5 years in prison

Over the last 10 years Joshua Naytowhow had 26 break and enter, assault, and weapons related convictions.
Joshua Naytowhow was sentenced to five-and-a-half years in prison for a home invasion, armed robbery and other offences in separate incidents.

PRINCE ALBERT – A Terror Squad gang member has been taken off the streets after he was sentenced to five-and-a-half years in prison for a home invasion, armed robbery and other offences in separate incidents.

In Prince Albert Provincial Court, 30-year-old Joshua David Naytowhow from Sturgeon Lake First Nation was handed four-and-a-half years for robbery in the September 2022 home invasion on Sturgeon Lake First Nation, one-year consecutive for evading police, and six months concurrent for resisting arrest in an October 2022 high-speed police chase. Numerous remaining charges were withdrawn against Naytowhow, including several firearms offences and uttering threats.

"I find that a total combined sentence of five-and-a-half years is proportionate, in light of the gravity of the individual offences, Mr. Naytowhow’s serious criminal record, and the need to denounce those who invade people’s homes, steal their property under threat of violence, and drive dangerously in a selfish attempt to evade police," said Judge Steven Schiefner in his May 24 written decision. "In my opinion, a total global sentence of five-and-a-half years is not disproportionate to Mr. Naytowhow’s moral culpability in committing these offences even after considering the principles set forth in Gladue."

Gladue factors

Judge Schiefner said he must take into consideration the mitigating factors such as the fact that Naytowhow is a treaty member of Sturgeon Lake First Nation and there are Gladue factors present.

“Mr. Naytowhow was overexposed to addiction issues as a young person, and he has seen the lives of too many loved ones cut short by tragic events,” said Judge Schiefner.

Naytowhow’s mother was a status member of Sturgeon Lake First Nation and his father was non-indigenous. He lived with his mother until he was five when she abandoned all of her children. She struggled with alcohol and other substances and lived a high-risk lifestyle because of her addictions. She died when he was seven.

Naytowhow went to live with his father in Prince Albert where he was well-taken care of but his father died of cancer when he was 20.

Naytowhow lived with a woman and the couple had a child together before she committed suicide.

“Of significance, I note that Mr. Naytowhow’s own brother recruited him into the gang culture," said Judge Schiefner, adding that Naytowhow expressed a desire to get out the street gang but hasn't.

“Mr. Naytowhow continues to be a member of the Terror Squad. For many years, Mr. Naytowhow made his living by selling illicit substances for the Terror Squad.”


Defence counsel Dale N. Blenner-Hassett argued for a four-and-a-half-year to five-year prison sentence. He told the court there was little violence in the home invasion with only two blows and the victim didn’t have any lasting physical injuries.

Blenner-Hassett argued that the Crown couldn’t prove the weapon used was a real firearm so the conviction is on a charge of using an imitation firearm, which entails less risk of bodily harm. He also said Naytowhow’s own brother recruited him into the Terror Squad and gang culture at a time “when he was vulnerable” to this brother’s influence.

Crown prosecutor Jeff Summach argued that a seven-year global prison sentence should be given after taking into consideration the gravity of the offences, the need to remove Naytowhow from society, the need for denunciation, and to deter others from engaging in the kind of violent and dangerous conduct involved in Naytowhow’s crimes.

Judge Schiefner said he was "mindful of the gravity of the offences" including a violent home invasion where a man was assaulted and the keys to his truck extorted at gunpoint.

“This was a brazen home invasion and Mr. Naytowhow’s conduct not only traumatized [the victim], but also struck a blow to the public’s right to feel safe,” said Judge Schiefner. “Equally serious was Mr. Naytowhow’s dangerous conduct three weeks later in attempting to evade police in a motor vehicle. His conduct was objectively dangerous – dangerous for his passengers, for the officer trying to stop him, and for the people of Sturgeon Lake First Nation. To maintain public confidence in our justice system, denunciation and deterrence must be addressed in sentencing for both of these offences.”

Judge Schiefner said the victim of the home invasion on Sturgeon Lake First Nation, who is from Thunderchild First Nation, has lasting emotional harm and has lost trust in the people of Sturgeon Lake First Nation.

Another aggravating factor was that an imitation firearm was used to extort the victim’s truck keys.

“I noted that [the victim] did not originally comply. To the contrary, when Mr. Naytowhow asked for his keys, [the victim] told him to “f off”. In response to [the victim's] noncompliance, Mr. Naytowhow used violence [struck him with the butt of the imitation firearm] and an overt act of intimidation [pointed that imitation firearm at him] to extort [the victim’s] compliance. To make matters worse, Mr. Naytowhow repeated his act of intimidation by again pointing this same imitation firearm at [the victim] a few days later at the local store.”

Naytowhow’s “significant criminal record” was another aggravating factor, said Judge Schiefner. Over the last 10 years he has 26 break and enter, assault, and weapons related convictions.

On the charge of evading police, Judge Schiefner said these types of charges are all too common and some drivers have come to believe they can escape apprehension if they drive fast enough or dangerous enough that the police will call off their pursuit.

“This kind of behaviour must be denounced and the sentences imposed must be sufficient to deter Mr. Naytowhow or anyone else from engaging in this dangerous conduct.”

Naytohow was given 329 days credit for time served in jail while on remand. He was also ordered to submit his DNA to the National DNA Data Bank, banned from owning weapons for 10 years, and driving for two years, after he is released.

 Click for more from Crime, Cops and Court. 


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