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Murder trial for Soaring Eagle Whitstone begins

Soaring Eagle Whitstone is one of 10 people charged in connection to the death of Tiki Laverdiere of Edmonton

BATTLEFORD – The trial for Soaring Eagle Whitstone who is charged with first-degree murder in the death of Tiki Laverdiere started Tuesday in Battleford Court of Queen’s Bench.

Whitstone, now 36, is also charged with kidnapping, improperly interfering with human remains, and theft of a vehicle.

The trial is expected to last four to six weeks. Senior Crown Chris Browne and Prosecutor Charlotte Morden are trying all of the cases of the 10 accused in Laverdiere's murder. Defence Chris Gratton from Saskatoon is representing Whitstone. Justice Brian Scherman from Saskatoon is presiding. 

Whitstone is from Onion Lake Cree Nation and is the sixth person to be arrested in Laverdiere’s murder.

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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