Murder suspect completes assessment

Richard Froese
South Peace News

A young Driftpile Cree Nation man charged with first-degree murder in connection with the death of his father April 10 will find out if he will go to trial or not.

The matter of Starr Frederick Sasakamoose Jr. returned to High Prairie Court of Justice on Sept. 18 to update an assessment to determine if he is not criminally responsible for the death of Starr Felix Sasaka- moose, 43.

“The report has been finished,” lawyer Harry Jong says.

Details of the report were not presented in court.

“I have the report,” Jong says.

“I have to go over the report with him first before the next step, which is to enter a plea.”

Justice S.P. Hinkley put the matter over to Oct. 2 for plea and to discuss the report.

Sasakamoose Jr. remains in Alberta Hospital, Jong says.

He has been found fit to stand trial after a psychiatric assessment that was reported in court July 24.

Justice J.K. Sihra initially ordered the NCR assessment on June 26.

Sasakamoose Jr. was 26 when he was charged.

At the first appearance April 17, Jong told court that Sasakamoose Jr. and his family requested that the accused wanted a psychiatric assessment.

“They say he does suffer from schizophrenia and sometimes goes into psychotic episodes,” Jong says as he spoke in court April 17.

Lakeshore Regional Police Service reported in a new release 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 the RCMP.

Alberta RCMP Major Crimes Unit was dispatched to the scene to assist with the investigation.

The cause of death was not revealed by police.

Police will make no further comment on the issue because the matter is before the court.

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

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