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Man charged in Tiki Laverdiere’s murder sentenced to time served

Samuel Takakenew was sentenced in Battleford Court of Queen’s Bench to time served on a charge of accessory to murder

BATTLEFORD – A man charged with accessory to murder in the death of 25-year-old Tiki Laverdiere of Edmonton is now a free man.

Samuel Takakenew, 37, was sentenced in Battleford Court of Queen’s Bench to time served.

Takakenew pleaded guilty Friday to accessory after the fact to murder. Justice Gerald Allbright handed him a 365-day sentence. He was arrested on Aug. 26, 2020, in Edmonton, Alta.

Takakenew will be on probation for two years. He is prohibited from owning firearms for life and must submit his DNA to the RCMP National DNA Data Bank.

Takakenew was the tenth person arrested for Laveridiere's murder. Laverdiere was reported missing to Battlefords RCMP on May 12, 2019. RCMP found her body on July 11, 2019, in a rural area near North Battleford. 

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

10 charged, 5 sentenced

Ten people were charged with Laverdiere’s murder. Five have been sentenced and five remain to be sentenced. 

In October 2021, Nikita Cook, from Onion Lake Cree Nation, was sentenced to 25 years in prison on a charge of first-degree murder.

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 A charge of first-degree murder was withdrawn.

In May 2020, Mavis Takakenew, of North Battleford, was sentenced to 18 months in jail for accessory to murder. She has since been released from jail.

In May 2020, Brent Checkosis, of North Battleford, was sentenced to seven-and-a-half years in prison. In August 2019 Checkosis was stabbed in a high-security gang range of the Saskatoon Correctional Centre. Two people were charged in that incident.

Five trials remaining

The next accused heading to trial in Battleford Court of Queen's Bench is Danita Thomas in January 2022 on charges of kidnapping, first-degree murder, improperly interfering with a body and theft of a vehicle. She elected to be tried by judge alone.

Shayla Orthner’s judge alone trial starts in April 2022 on charges of first-degree murder, improperly interfering with a body and theft of a vehicle.

Soaring Eagle Whitstone will stand trial in September 2022 on charges of first-degree murder, improperly interfering with a body and theft of a vehicle. She also elected to be tried by judge alone.

Nicole Cook - who is the mother of murder victim Tristan Cook-Buckle whose funeral Laverdiere attended in Saskatchewan - will stand trial in March 2023 on charges of kidnapping, first-degree murder, improperly interfering with a body and theft of a vehicle. Cook elected to be tried by judge and jury.

Jesse Sangster's judge alone trial on charges of first-degree murder, improperly interfering with a body and theft of a vehicle is set for Jan. 9, 2023.

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.

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

Laverdiere knew her accused killers

Laverdiere was in Saskatchewan April 2019 for a funeral on Thunderchild First Nation for 20-year-old Tristen Cook-Buckle. Cook-Buckle was from Edmonton and his body was found in a burned out 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. His murder remains unsolved. 

Timeline

- April 27, 2019: Laverdiere attended Cook-Buckle’s funeral on Thunderchild First Nation. 

- April 30, 2019: Laverdiere posted on Facebook: “Anyone going to Edmonton from north battleford? Inbox me plz!”

- May 12, 2019: Laverdiere was reported missing to Battlefords RCMP.

- June 10, 2019: The RCMP said Laverdiere’s disappearance was the result of foul play.

- July 11, 2019: A police dog finds human remains in a rural area outside of North Battleford while RCMP were conducting a ground search.

- July 17, 2019: RCMP announced the remains were that of Laverdiere.

Unsolved murder

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 www.tipsubmit.com/start.htm

ljoy@glaciermedia.ca