Numerous witnesses from Correctional Service Canada came to explain the circumstances surrounding the incarceration and statutory release of Myles Sanderson. (File photo)
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Knife attacks in Saskatchewan
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Earlier in the day, jurors heard from Natasha Melanson, the parole officer who accompanied Myles Sanderson from February 2022 until his disappearance in May 2022, when he no longer respected his conditions of statutory release. She described him as always respectful.
We didn't feel like keeping him in the community posed a risk , she explained to jurors.
There was nothing which suggested that he would be capable of doing what happened.
A quote from Parole Officer Natasha Melanson
In May 2022, Natasha Melanson received a call from Vanessa Burns informing her that Myles Sanderson was had gone to her house, violently knocking on her door and even managing to break into the apartment. After this incident, a warrant was issued to suspend his statutory release.
As Myles Sanderson was living with his father in Saskatoon at the time of his statutory release, the City of Bridges Police Department was first informed of the suspension warrant against him. (File photo)
Myles Sanderson, then considered to be illegally at large, contacted Ms. Melanson on a few occasions.
He told her that he was afraid of going back to prison, but that he wanted to take responsibility for his actions and was considering going to the police. The fugitive, however, did not give her any information about his whereabouts.
Natasha Melanson first informed the Saskatoon Police Service, since Mr. Sanderson lived in the town. When authorities began to suspect that the fugitive might return to his home community, the James Smith Cree Nation, the Melfort detachment of the Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP) was informed of the situation.
< p class="StyledBodyHtmlParagraph-sc-48221190-4 hnvfyV">Darryl Burns, whose sister was killed on September 4, 2022, believes the justice system failed in its mission.
Things could have been different , he said. There have been several reports and assessments of facts about this man. There were warning signs.
Saskatchewan Treaty Commissioner Mary Musqua-Culbertson acknowledges that organizers of the coroner's inquest made an effort to include Indigenous culture. She notes, however, that the process remains imperfect.
Mary Musqua-Culbertson doubts that the recommendations that will be made by the jurors will be implemented.
This process is exactly what it’s supposed to be. It’s done in a box, it’s systemic, she laments. This is not a process made just for the James Smith community. If it were, it would be totally different. The investigation would be carried out by indigenous people; there would be an emphasis on reconciliation and community.
These systems are not made for Indigenous people. These are colonial systems, she says.
Similar comments were made Tuesday by Chief Calvin Sanderson, one of the leaders of the James Smith Cree Nation.
Mary Musqua-Culbertson also doubts that the recommendations that will be made by the jurors will be implemented by the various services and organizations.
The coroner's investigation has begun on January 15 with a timeline of events, both the timing of the attacks and the whereabouts of Myles Sanderson and his brother, Damien Sanderson, in the preceding days.
The first two police officers to arrive on scene were then able to describe their arrival in the James Smith Cree Nation and how they handled the crisis.
The Melfort RCMP detachment commander at the time of the attacks also testified, saying the day of the tragedy was “the worst thing [he] saw in [his] career.”
The coroner's inquest, which began on January 15, is held at the Kerry Vickar Center in Melfort.
On January 19, a psychological analysis of Myles Sanderson was presented to jurors.
The manager of the RCMP's Saskatchewan Combat and Response Team, for his part, explained why Myles Sanderson was not actively sought by the police (New window), even if he was found to be illegally at large.
L' The coroner's investigation aims to shed light on the deaths of the various victims, in particular how, when and where they were killed. It also aims to make recommendations to prevent such a tragedy from happening again.
A second investigation into the death of Myles Sanderson is scheduled for February.
- Vincent H. Turgeon (View profile)Vincent H. TurgeonFollow