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James Smith attacks: Jurors deliberation begins | Knife attacks in Saskatchewan

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L' The coroner's investigation began on January 15 at the Kerry Vickar center in Melfort, about 40 km from the two communities affected by the tragedy.

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After hearing 30 testimonies, the six jurors in the coroner's inquest into the September 4, 2022 attacks in Saskatchewan begin their deliberations, a process that could take several days.

On September 4, 2022, Myles Sanderson stabbed 11 people, including his brother, Damien Sanderson, and injured 17 others in the James Smith Cree Nation and the nearby village of Weldon, Saskatchewan. This is the worst stabbing attack in Canadian history.

A three-day manhunt ensued until law enforcement spotted , on September 7, the car in which Myles Sanderson was traveling near the village of Rosthern, 66 km northeast of Saskatoon.

Shortly after his arrest, the fugitive found himself in a state of respiratory distress. Paramedics were called to the scene to take him to a Saskatoon hospital, where he was eventually pronounced dead.

Jurors must determine the date, time, place and reason of death of each of the victims killed during the attacks.< /p>

They must also make recommendations to prevent a similar tragedy from happening again. These must be based on the evidence and testimonies heard in recent weeks.

It will then be up to the various agencies concerned to determine which recommendations they wish to apply.

It is your duty to turn this tragic event into something positive [for the future].

A quote from Blaine R. Beaven, coroner having chaired the investigation

Knife attacks in Saskatchewan

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Knife attacks in Saskatchewan

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It was a long two and a half weeks, admits chef Robert Head of the Peter Chapman First Nation, part of the James Smith Cree Nation. I'm glad the testimony is finally over. There have been a lot of emotions for the families.

We are now hoping that there will be recommendations that can change the systemic problems we have in the justice system and with parole, he adds.

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Chief Robert Head hopes this investigation will make things better.

Since the investigation began, many members of the James Smith Cree Nation attend the hearings daily.

The complexity of the issues raised by this investigation demonstrates that it will not be a single agency that can solve everything, explains an addiction worker in the community, Chelsey Stonestand. All agencies must work together.

It's not just the justice system that has failed Myles. […] Our community also let him down. His family failed him and he failed himself. There is not just one person responsible.

A quote from Chelsey Stonestand, addiction worker

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« The society is used to seeing everything in black or white,” explains Chelsey Stonestand. “But there are bigger problems that can be solved if people work together. »

For her part, Joyce Burns, whose husband died during the attacks, hopes that lessons can be learned taken from the various testimonies heard.

It opened my eyes, she says. [Myles Sanderson] had been neglected, he had been abused. He didn't know how to change his life. He had no one for him. I look at all this and I think of my children, my grandchildren. […] I don't want them to take the same path as him.

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Joyce Burns, including one of the daughters is the ex-partner of Myles Sanderson, wants to do everything to prevent her grandchildren from following their father's path.

Since January 15, jurors have heard testimony from 30 people connected to the James Smith attacks.

Among these witnesses were members of the community, employees of the Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP), Correctional Service Canada and the Parole Board of Canada.

The jurors and the audience were notably able to hear the detachment commander of the Melfort RCMP at the time of the attacks. The latter described the day of the tragedy as “the worst thing [he] has seen in [his] career”.

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Several members of the James Smith Cree Nation attended the 11 days of testimony.

Vanessa Burns, the ex-partner of Myles Sanderson, also offered moving testimony about the abusive relationship she was in and the distress she felt on September 4, 2022.

Various parole officers who accompanied the killer through his prison journey also spoke.

There was nothing to suggest that he would be capable of doing what happened, explained Natasha Melanson, the parole officer who accompanied Myles Sanderson from February 2022 until 'upon his disappearance in May 2022, when he no longer respected his statutory release conditions.

Died shortly after his arrest, a second inquest into Myles Sanderson will take place on February 26.

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Teilor Stone

By Teilor Stone

Teilor Stone has been a reporter on the news desk since 2013. Before that she wrote about young adolescence and family dynamics for Styles and was the legal affairs correspondent for the Metro desk. Before joining Thesaxon , Teilor Stone worked as a staff writer at the Village Voice and a freelancer for Newsday, The Wall Street Journal, GQ and Mirabella. To get in touch, contact me through my teilor@nizhtimes.com 1-800-268-7116