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Cassandra Fox sentenced, Jonathan Swiftwolfe headed to trial

Cassandra Fox was sentenced Monday after she pleaded guilty to a charge of accessory after the fact to murder.

NORTH BATTLEFORD – A Sweetgrass First Nation woman was handed a four-year prison sentence on a charge of accessory after the fact to murder in Bradley Ham’s death.

Cassandra Yvonne Mary Fox, 26, was charged with first-degree murder but pleaded guilty Monday to the lesser charge of accessory. Ham’s body was found near a grid road about 30 kilometres southeast of Glaslyn on Nov. 27, 2020.

Crown Prosecutor Jennifer Schmidt and defence Brian Pfefferle entered a joint submission to North Battleford Provincial Court.

Schmidt asked the court for a ban on publication of the details until after Fox’s co-accused Jonathan Swiftwolfe’s trial. Judge Ian Mokuruk granted the ban.

Pfefferle told the court that Fox had a “very troubled upbringing.” He said that Fox’s mother attended Lebret Residential School, which was “notorious for abuse.”

Pfefferle said Fox had described her mother as being “lost to addiction.” He said that Fox’s father died while she was in custody at Pine Grove Correctional Centre for women in Prince Albert. Pfefferle told the court that Pine Grove is way “over capacity” and Fox fell ill with COVID while incarcerated.

He said that Fox is “a young woman who has a lot to work on” and has significant Gladue factors.

Fox, who appeared from Pine Grove by CCTV, was also sentenced to 270 days, time served, on weapons and breach charges stemming from another incident.

On the accessory charge, Fox was given 518 days credit for time served in pre-trial custody. She was given a 10-year firearms prohibition and ordered to provide her DNA to the National DNA Data Bank.

Swiftwolfe headed to trial

Jonathan Swiftwolfe appeared in court from Drumheller Institution by CCTV Monday.

A prelimnary hearing was scheduled to start this week but Swiftwolfe’s lawyer Mike Nowlin told the court that defence consented to committal to trial at Battleford Court of King’s Bench. Swiftwolfe has pleaded not guilty and will seek to have a jury trial.

Crown Jennifer Schmidt is also prosecuting Swiftwolfe’s case. The matter has now gone for pre-trial conference at King’s Bench in December.

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