Court extends request for psychiatric assessment

Richard Froese
South Peace News

Time to conduct a psychiatric assessment has been extended to a Driftpile Cree Nation man charged with first-degree murder in connection with the death of his father April 10.

The matter of Starr Frederick Sasakamoose Jr., 26, returned to the High Prairie Court of Justice June 26.

Justice S.P. Hinkley ordered a 30-day extension for the assessment to determine if Saskakamoose is physical fit to stand trail or if he was not criminally responsible at the time of the incident.

Crown prosecutor Kelly Payne requested the time for the assessments be extended.

Assessments were first ordered June 5 by Justice J.K. Sihra at the request of the lawyer for Sasakamoose, Harry Jong.

Justice Hinkley put the matter over to return to court July 24.

Jong said only a “little bit” of assessment work has been completed on Saskamoose at Alberta Hospital.

During the first appearance April 17, Jong told court that Sasakamoose and his family requested a psychiatric assessment.

“They say he does suffer from schizophrenia and sometimes goes into psychotic episodes,”

Jong said in court April 17.

Sasakamoose was charged in connection with the death of his father Starr Felix Sasakamoose, 43.

Lakeshore Regional Police Service reported that officers responded to a report of a deceased individual at a residence on the reserve on the day of the incident about 6:45 p.m.

Police arrested an occupant of the house and contacted Alberta RCMP Major Crimes Unit, who was quickly dispatched to the scene to assist with the investigation.

The cause of death was not revealed by police.

Sasakamoose Sr. was re-elected to Driftpile Cree Nation council as a councillor in the election Dec. 19, 2022 with 235 votes.

Share this post