Edmonton man appears in North Battleford court for murder of Tiki Laverdiere

Charles St. Savard of Edmonton appeared in North Battleford Provincial Court July 17 by telephone on first-degree murder and kidnapping charges in connection to the 2019 death of Tiki Brook-Lyn Laverdiere.

St. Savard, 33, is the ninth person to be charged in Laverdiere’s death. He was arrested by Edmonton Police Service on July 10, 2020, and returned to North Battleford, where he remains in custody.

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Laverdiere, 25, was reported missing to the Battlefords RCMP on May 12, 2019, after her family last heard from her on May 1, 2019, when she sent a text message from North Battleford saying she wanted to return home to Edmonton. She was in North Battleford to attend a funeral. 

Laverdiere’s body was found in a rural area near North Battleford in June 2019.

Brent Checkosis, 18, was sentenced on May 15, 2020, in Battlefords Court of Queen’s Bench, to seven years in prison for accessory after the fact to the murder of Laverdiere.

In August 2019, two inmates stabbed Checkosis in the Saskatoon Provincial Correctional Centre. The stabbing happened in a high-security gang range of the correctional centre. 

In February 2020, inmates Jesse Edward Philip McKenzie, 22, and Kihiw Jason George Fourstar, 19, pleaded guilty to aggravated assault and possession of a homemade knife for a dangerous purpose in connection to the stabbing of Checkosis. McKenzie was sentenced to three and a half years concurrent to the time he is currently serving, less 147 days for time served. He was given three months concurrent for the charge of possession of a homemade weapon. Fourstar, on the charge of aggravated assault, was sentenced to three and a half years concurrent to the time he is currently serving, less 107 days for time served. He was also sentenced to three months concurrent for possession of a homemade weapon. 

The Crown dropped numerous weapons charges against Brent Checkosis in February 2020. The charges, stemming from other incidents not related to Laverdiere’s death, included three counts of possession of a weapon for dangerous purpose, three counts of carrying a concealed weapon, unauthorized possession of a weapon, careless use of a firearm, failing to comply with conditions and failing to appear in court. 

Mavis Takakenew was also sentenced on May 15, 2020, in Battlefords Court of Queen’s Bench to 18 months in prison on a charge of accessory to murder after the fact in the death of Laverdiere.

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 in connection to Laverdiere’s death. 

Nicole Cook is the mother of Tristen Cook-Buckle, 20, whose funeral Laverdiere travelled to North Battleford in April 2019 to attend on Thunderchild First Nation. Cook-Buckle’s body was found burned in a vehicle near Vegreville, Alta. on April 5, 2019. Hours before Cook-Buckle’s body was found, Edmonton Police responded to a call near 92nd St. and 110th Ave. and found blood on the ground behind the house, which DNA later showed was Cook-Buckle’s blood. An autopsy revealed Cook-Buckle’s death was homicide but police haven’t released the cause of death. 

The court imposed a publication ban on sentencing hearings for Checkosis and Takakenew until the trials of all the co-accused are finished.

St. Savard made his first appearance in court North Battleford Provincial Court on July 13 and was remanded in custody. The matter was adjourned to give him time to get a lawyer. An agent told the court July 17 that Timothy Nolin will be representing St. Savard and the matter was adjourned until Aug. 28 in North Battleford Provincial Court.

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