BATTLEFORD – The Crown continues to present its case at Battleford Court of King’s Bench against Soaring Eagle Whitstone who is charged with first-degree murder in the death of Tiki Laverdiere of Edmonton.
North Battleford Senior Crown Chris Browne and Prosecutor Charlotte Morden are trying all of the cases of the 10 accused in Laverdiere's murder.
Prosecuting the 10 people charged with Laverdiere’s murder is likely one of the most complicated cases in Saskatchewan, Browne told the Battlefords News-Optimist during Jesse Sangster’s preliminary hearing in October 2020.
“I would say it is one of the most complicated matters we had in the province, just the nature, the number of people involved makes it that,” said Browne.
The Crown is expected to continue presenting its case against Whitstone for at least another two weeks. The defence will then have an opportunity to present evidence.
Thirty-six-year-old Whitstone, who is from Onion Lake Cree Nation, is also charged with kidnapping, improperly interfering with human remains, and theft of a vehicle.
Defence Chris Gratton from Saskatoon is representing Whitstone. Justice Brian Scherman from Saskatoon is presiding at the non-jury trial.
Laverdiere was reported missing to Battlefords RCMP on May 12, 2019. On June 10, 2019, RCMP announced that Laverdiere’s disappearance was the result of foul play and they would be investigating her disappearance as a homicide. On July 11, 2019, a police dog found Laverdiere's remains in a rural area outside of North Battleford while RCMP were conducting a ground search.
Laverdiere was in Saskatchewan April 2019 for the funeral of 20-year-old Tristen Cook-Buckle on Thunderchild First Nation.
Whitstone has been in custody at Pine Grove Correctional Centre since she was arrested Aug. 6, 2019, in Lloydminster.
There is a ban on publication of all preliminary hearings, trials, and sentencing hearings until the trials of all the co-accused are concluded.
Those sentenced so far include: Nikita Cook from Onion Lake Cree Nation, Brent Checkosis from Poundmaker First Nation, Samuel Takakenew and Charles St. Savard from Edmonton, Mavis Takakenew, Danita Thomas, and Shayla Orthner from North Battleford.
Trials remain for Jesse Sangster and Nicole Cook from Edmonton.
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