BATTLEFORD - Nikita Cook’s five-week non-jury trial in connection to Tiki Laverdiere’s death began Tuesday in Battleford Court of Queen’s Bench.
Cook, who is from Edmonton, is charged with first-degree murder, kidnapping and improperly interfering with a human body. She is one of 10 people who were charged with 25-year-old Laverdiere’s murder. Laverdiere, who was from Edmonton, was reported missing to Battlefords RCMP May 12, 2019. On June 10, 2019, the RCMP labeled her disappearance as a homicide. Her body was found July 11, 2019, when RCMP were conducting a ground search in a rural area outside of North Battleford.
Laverdiere was in North Battleford 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 on April 5, 2019. Hours earlier Edmonton Police had responded to a call near 92 St. and 110 Ave. where they found blood on the ground behind a house. DNA later revealed that it was Cook-Buckle’s blood and Edmonton Police continue to investigate his homicide.
Cook-Buckle, on his Facebook page, identified himself as a “Stryker” (enforcer) at Redd Alert and “Forever Doin' Dirt 18*1” The numbers 18:1 mean “RA,” and refers to Redd Alert.
Cook’s co-accused Soaring Eagle Whitstone, 34, from Onion Lake calls herself “Redd” on Facebook and lists herself as a “Boss at Hustlin.” She says she studied at “Westside FFA” and posted a photo of a red bandana that read, “Westside Outlawz 23:19.”
Another co-accused, 25-year-old Jesse Sangster from Edmonton, was committed to stand trial after a three-week preliminary hearing last fall in North Battleford Provincial Court. He is charged with first-degree murder, kidnapping, and improperly interfering with a human body.
Shayla Orther, 29, and Danita Thomas, 34, both of North Battleford, Nicole Cook, 38, and Charles St. Savard, 35, of Edmonton are also charged with first-degree murder, kidnapping and improperly interfering with a human body.
Brent Checkosis, 19, and Samuel Takakenew, 36, of Edmonton, Mavis Quinn Takakenew, 56, of North Battleford, were all charged with accessory to murder after the fact. In 2020 Brent Checkosis was sentenced to seven years in prison and Mavis Takakenew was given 18 months. 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 The charge of first-degree murder was withdrawn.
The charges against the remaining co-accused haven’t been proven in court.
There is a ban on publication of the sentence hearings for Brent Checkosis, Mavis Takakenew and Charles St. Savard until the trials of all the co-accused are concluded.