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James Smith attacks: Killer had 'low' potential for rehabilitation | Knife attacks in Saskatchewan

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In 2019, Myles Sanderson was incarcerated at the Saskatchewan Penitentiary in Prince Albert, a federal penitentiary. (Archive photo)

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Testimonies concerning the correctional journey of Myles Sanderson, the author of the attacks that occurred in September 2022 in Saskatchewan, continued during the eighth day of the coroner's inquest, Wednesday.

The 4 September 2022, Myles Sanderson stabbed 11 people, including his brother, Damien Sanderson, and injured 17 others in the James Smith Cree Nation and 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 respiratory distress. Paramedics were called to the scene to take him to a Saskatoon hospital, where he was eventually pronounced dead.

Upon his arrival at Saskatchewan Penitentiary in 2019, the parole officer responsible for Myles Sanderson's initial assessment, Darrel Schmidt, noted that his risk of domestic violence was high and his potential for reintegration was high. was weak.

Mr. Schmidt also warned the parole officers accompanying Mr. Sanderson that the inmate's crimes were predominantly committed under the influence of drugs or alcohol.

Such testimony echoes those heard Tuesday about Myles Sanderson's prison stint and his statutory release. Vanessa Burns, the killer's ex-partner, also told jurors that she had been beaten during the years she was in a relationship with the perpetrator of the attacks.

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Numerous witnesses from Correctional Service Canada came to explain the circumstances surrounding incarceration and statutory release by Myles Sanderson. (File photo)

Saskatchewan knife attacks

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Knife attacks in Saskatchewan

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A little earlier in the day, the jurors were able to hear Natasha Melanson, the parole officer who accompanied Myles Sanderson from February 2022 until his disappearance in May 2022, when he no longer complied with his statutory release conditions. She described him as always respectful.

We didn't feel like keeping him in the community posed a risk, she told jurors.< /p>

There was nothing that 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 had visited her home, 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.

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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.

He told her he was afraid of going back to prison, but wanted to take responsibility of his actions and considered going to the police. The fugitive, however, did not give him any information about his whereabouts.

Natasha Melanson first informed the Saskatoon Police Service, since Mr. Sanderson lived in the city. 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.

Darryl Burns, whose sister was killed on September 4, 2022, believes the justice system has failed in its mission.< /p>

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 the organizers of the coroner's inquest made an effort to include Aboriginal culture. She notes, however, that the process remains imperfect.

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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 people indigenous. 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 different services and organizations.

The coroner's inquest began on January 15 with a timeline of events, both the timing of the attacks and Myles' whereabouts 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 that the day of the tragedy was “the worst thing [he] saw in [his] ] career”.

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L' coroner's inquest, which began on January 15, is being held at the Kerry Vickar Center in Melfort.

On January 19, a psychological analysis of Myles Sanderson was presented to the jurors.

The manager of the wrestling team and Saskatchewan Intervention Team from the RCMP's Northern Region, for its part, explained why Myles Sanderson was not actively sought by the police (New window), even if he was tried illegally at liberty.

The coroner's investigation aims to shed light on the deaths of the various victims, including how, when and where they were killed. It also aims to make recommendations to prevent such a tragedy from repeating itself.

A second inquest into the death of Myles Sanderson is scheduled for February.

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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