An Edmonton man will stand trial for the 2019 murder of an Edmonton woman in Saskatchewan.
A three-week preliminary hearing for Jesse Sangster, 23, wrapped up Oct. 15 in North Battleford Provincial Court with Judge Kevin D. Hill ruling there was sufficient evidence for Sangster to stand trial on charges of first-degree murder, kidnapping, and improperly interfering with a human body.
Sangster is one of 10 people charged in connection to the murder of Tiki Laverdiere, 25. From July 2019 to August 2020, the RCMP made arrests in Saskatchewan and Alberta for Laverdiere’s murder.
Seven were charged with first-degree murder, kidnapping, improperly interfering with a human body, and theft of a vehicle, including Sangster, Soaring Eagle Whitstone, 33, of Onion Lake Cree Nation, Shayla Orthner, 27, of North Battleford, Danita Thomas, 32, of North Battleford, Nicole Cook, 37, of Edmonton, Nikita Sandra Cook, 32, of Edmonton, and Charles St. Savard, 33, of Edmonton,
Three people were charged with accessory to murder after the fact. They include Brent Checkosis, 18, of North Battleford, Mavis Quinn Takakenew, 55, of North Battleford, and Samuel Takakenew, 36, of Edmonton.
Laverdiere was reported missing to Battlefords RCMP May 12, 2019. On June 10, 2019, Saskatchewan RCMP announced that Laverdiere’s disappearance was the result of foul play and they would be investigating her disappearance as a homicide. Her body was found July 11, 2019, during an RCMP ground search in a rural area outside of North Battleford.
Laverdiere was in North Battleford April 2019 for the funeral of Tristen Cook-Buckle, 20, which was held on Thunderchild First Nation. Cook-Buckle’s body was found burned in a vehicle near Vegreville, Alta. on April 5, 2019. Only hours before his body was found, Edmonton Police responded to a call near 92nd St. and 110th Ave. where they found blood on the ground behind the house. DNA later revealed that it was Cook-Buckle’s blood. His death was deemed a homicide and Edmonton Police continue to investigate.
Cook-Buckle’s mother, Nicole Cook, told CBC last year that Laverdiere was a close family friend and one of Cook-Buckle’s best friends. She also said her son was in a street gang called Redd Alert. Cook-Buckle, on his Facebook page, said he was a “Stryker” (enforcer) at Redd Alert and “Forever Doin' Dirt 18*1” The numbers 18:1 mean “RA,” which refers to Redd Alert.
Co-accused Soaring Eagle Whitstone, on her Facebook page, calls herself “Redd.” She lists herself as “Boss at Hustlin” and states she studied at “Westside FFA.” She also posted a photo of a red bandana that says “Westside Outlawz 23:19.”
Two of the 10 charged have been sentenced for their part in Laverdiere’s murder. Brent Checkosis was sent to prison for seven years on charges of accessory after the fact to murder. Mavis Takakenew was given 18 months on the same charge. With credit for time served while waiting for her trial, Takakenew has already been released from prison. There is a ban on publication on the sentencing hearings for Checkosis and Takakenew until the trials of all the co-accused are finished.
Senior Crown Prosecutor Chris Browne and Prosecutor Charlotte Morden led Sangster’s preliminary hearing.
Sangster has pleaded not guilty and none of the charges have been proven in court. Prince Albert lawyer Rebecca Crookshanks represents Sangster.
The cases against only two of the 10 co-accused remain at the provincial court level, including Charles St. Savard and Samuel Takakenew.