The case against two women charged in connection to the murder of Tiki Brook-Lyn Laverdiere, 25, of Edmonton was adjourned due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Nikita Cook and Nicole Cook were scheduled to appear in North Battleford Provincial Court March 20. Nicole Cook of Edmonton is charged with first-degree murder, kidnapping, improperly interfering with a human body and theft of a vehicle. Nikita Cook is charged with first-degree murder and kidnapping.
Nicole Cook is from Edmonton and is the mother of Tristen Cook-Buckle, 20, whose funeral Laverdiere travelled to North Battleford to attend on April 27, 2019. Cook-Buckle’s body was found in a burned vehicle near Vegreville, Alta. on April 5, 2019. Police later determined, through DNA evidence, that blood found behind a house in Edmonton near 92 St. and 100 Ave., was that of Cook-Buckle. An autopsy revealed that Cook-Buckle’s death was homicide. Police haven’t released the cause of death.
Laverdiere was last heard from on May 1, 2019, when she texted her family from North Battleford saying she wanted to return home to Edmonton. She was reported missing on May 12, 2019, to the Battlefords RCMP and on May 17, 2019, police said her disappearance was suspicious. On June 10, 2019, the Saskatchewan RCMP Major Crime Unit North, with the assistance of the North Battleford and Prince Albert Forensic Identification Sections and an analyst from the RCMP Forensic Laboratory in Edmonton, determined Laverdiere’s disappearance was the result of foul play. Police didn’t provide more details.
On June 12, 2019, RCMP found human remains in a rural area near North Battleford. A July 16, 2019, autopsy confirmed the remains were that of Laverdiere.
From July 20 to Aug 15, 2019, police arrested eight people in North Battleford, Sask., and Edmonton, Alta., for Laverdiere’s murder.
Shayla Orthner, Danita Thomas, both of North Battleford, Jesse Sangster, Nicole Cook and Nikita Cook of Edmonton, and Soaring Eagle Whitstone of Onion Lake Cree Nation, are all charged with first-degree murder and kidnapping.
Mavis Quinn Takakenew and Brent Checkosis, both of North Battleford, are charged with accessory to murder after the fact.
In December 2019 Checkosis pleaded guilty to accessory to murder. On Feb. 10, 2020, Takakenew pleaded guilty to accessory after the fact to murder. The judge reserved sentencing for Checkosis and Takakenew until March 25 in Battleford Court of Queen’s Bench. The court has imposed a publication ban on sentencing hearings for Checkosis and Takakenew until the trials of the six remaining co-accused are finished.
A pretrial for Shayla Orthner is scheduled in Battleford Court of Queen’s Bench on March 27.
Whitsone has a three-week preliminary hearing scheduled in North Battleford Provincial Court Nov. 2.
Nikita Cook and Nicole Cook are scheduled to reappear in North Battleford Provincial Court on June 5.