By Lisa Joy, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter
Two inmates at the Saskatoon Correctional Centre have pleaded guilty to stabbing another inmate who is one of eight charged in the murder of Tiki Laverdiere in North Battleford.
Jesse Edward Philip McKenzie, 22, and Kihiw Jason George Fourstar, 19, pleaded guilty in Saskatoon provincial court Feb. 12 to aggravated assault and possession of a homemade knife for a dangerous purpose.
McKenzie and Fourstar were charged after Brent Checkosis, 18, was found by prison staff on Aug. 23, 2019. The stabbing happened in a high-security gang range of the correctional centre.
In December, Checkosis pleaded guilty in Battleford Court of Queen’s Bench to accessory after the fact to murder of Tiki Laverdiere. Laverdiere, from Edmonton, was reported missing to Battlefords RCMP May 12, 2019. Her remains were found July 12, 2019, in a rural area near North Battleford.
On Feb. 10 a sentencing hearing was held for Checkosis in Battleford Court of Queen’s Bench. Justice Gerald Allbright reserved his decision until March 25.
The knife attack on Checkosis in the Saskatoon Correctional Centre on Aug. 23, 2019, and fights that injured four other inmates at the Saskatoon correctional centre on Aug. 26, 2019, prompted the Saskatchewan Government and General Employees' Union to call on the Ministry of Policing and Corrections to invest more into staffing to deal with rising violence and gang feuds in prisons. The union says they are seeing as many as three or four inmate assaults a day.
SGEU President Bob Bymoen called the correctional centres a “powder keg waiting to explode” and staff don’t feel safe.
On the charge of aggravated assault against Checkosis, Justice Marilyn Penner sentenced McKenzie to three and a half years concurrent to the time he is currently serving, less 147 days for time served. He was given three months concurrent for the charge of possession of a homemade weapon.
Fourstar, on the charge of aggravated assault, was sentenced to three and a half years concurrent to the time he is currently serving, less 107 days for time served. He was also sentenced to three months concurrent for possession of a homemade weapon.