MAPLE CREEK – A Sweetgrass First Nation woman serving a sentence for accessory after the fact to murder in Bradley Ham’s death has died in custody.
Correctional Service of Canada said that on Jan. 18 Cassandra Fox, an inmate from Okimaw Ohci Healing Lodge, died while in custody.
Since Nov. 21, 2022, Fox had been serving a sentence of two years, six months and 29 days for accessory after the fact to murder, unauthorized possession of a firearm, having a prohibited weapon in a vehicle, possession of a weapon contrary to a probation order, and failing to comply with a court order.
As in all cases involving the death of an inmate, CSC will review the circumstances. CSC policy requires that the police and the coroner be notified.
Fox was sentenced in North Battleford Provincial Court on Nov. 21, 2022, after she pleaded guilty to accessory after the fact to murder in Bradley Ham’s death.
She was charged with first-degree murder but pleaded guilty to the lesser charge of accessory. Ham’s body was found near a grid road about 30 kilometres southeast of Glaslyn on Nov. 27, 2020.
Crown Prosecutor Jennifer Schmidt and defence Brian Pfefferle had entered a joint submission in North Battleford Provincial Court.
Pfefferle told the court that Fox had a “very troubled upbringing.” He said that Fox’s mother attended Lebret Residential School, which was “notorious for abuse.”
Pfefferle said Fox had described her mother as being “lost to addiction.” He said that Fox’s father died while she was in custody at Pine Grove Correctional Centre for women in Prince Albert. Pfefferle told the court that Pine Grove is way “over capacity” and Fox fell ill with COVID while incarcerated.
He said that Fox is “a young woman who has a lot to work on” and has significant Gladue factors.
Fox, who had appeared from Pine Grove by CCTV, was also sentenced to 270 days, time served, on weapons and breach charges stemming from another incident.
Swiftwolfe headed to trial
Jonathan Swiftwolfe, of Moosomin First Nation, appeared in court from Drumheller Institution by CCTV on Nov. 21, 2022. A preliminary hearing was scheduled that week but Swiftwolfe’s lawyer Mike Nowlin told the court that defence consented to committal to trial at Battleford Court of King’s Bench. Swiftwolfe has pleaded not guilty and will seek to have a jury trial.
Crown Jennifer Schmidt is also prosecuting Swiftwolfe’s case. The matter is up before Battleford Court of King’s Bench again on Feb. 10.
— Click for more from Crime, Cops and Court.