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Man charged in Tiki Laverdiere's murder has appearance in court

Samuel Takakenew is charged with accessory to murder

NORTH BATTLEFORD – The case against a man charged with accessory to Tiki Laverdiere’s murder was brought before the court Wednesday.

Samuel Takakenew’s appearance was waived in North Battleford Provincial Court and the matter was adjourned to Dec. 16 when he is expected to appear by CCTV from the Saskatoon Correctional Centre.

Takakenew was arrested in Edmonton, Alta., on Aug. 26, 2020, and charged with accessory to murder in Laverdiere’s murder.  

Laverdiere was reported missing to Battlefords RCMP on May 12, 2019. Her body was found on July 11, 2019, by a police dog in a rural area outside of North Battleford while RCMP were conducting a ground search.

The 10 charged

Takakenew, now 37, is one of 10 people charged with Laverdiere’s murder.

Jesse Sangster, now 25, Nicole Cook, 38, Soaring Eagle Whitstone, 35, Shayla Orthner, 29, and Danita Thomas, 34, were charged with kidnapping, first-degree murder, improperly interfering with a body and theft of a vehicle.

Nikita Sandra Cook, 33, and Charles St. Savard, 35, were charged with first-degree murder and kidnapping.

Brent Checkosis, 20, Mavis Takakenew, 56, and Samuel Takakenew were charged with accessory to murder after the fact.

In October 2021, Sangster was additionally charged with possession of property obtained by crime over $5,000, and failing to comply with a release order. The charges stem from the time frame of Laverdiere’s murder. The details are under a publication ban.

Those already sentenced

In October 2021, Nikita Sandra Cook was found guilty of first-degree murder and sentenced to life with no chance of parole for 25 years.

In January 2021, St. Savard was sentenced to 14 months and 20 days after pleading guilty to unlawful confinement. The charge of first-degree murder was withdrawn.

In May 2020, Brent Checkosis was sentenced to seven years in prison and Mavis Takakenew was given 18 months. She has since been released from prison.

The charges against the remaining co-accused haven’t been proven in court.

There is a ban on publication of all preliminary hearings, trials, and sentencing hearings until the trials of all the co-accused are concluded.

Senior Crown Prosecutor Chris Browne and Charlotte Morden are prosecuting the cases against all of the accused charged with Laverdiere’s murder.

Laverdiere knew her accused killers

Laverdiere, who was from Edmonton, was in Saskatchewan April 2019 for the funeral of 20-year-old Tristen Cook-Buckle on Thunderchild First Nation. His body was found burned in a vehicle near Vegreville, Alta., on April 5, 2019. Edmonton Police believe Cook-Buckle was murdered behind a house near 92 St. and 110 Ave. in Edmonton.

No arrests have been made in Tristen Cook-Buckle’s murder.

If anyone has any information about Tristen Cook-Buckle’s homicide they are urged to contact the Edmonton Police at 780-423-4567 or #377 from a mobile phone. Anonymous information can also be submitted to Crime Stoppers at 1-800-222-8477 or online at