Trial for Onion Lake woman charged in Tiki Laverdiere’s death delayed due to COVID-19

The trial for an Onion Lake woman charged with first-degree murder and kidnapping in the death of Tiki Laverdiere has been postponed due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Nikita Cook’s jury trial was scheduled to start Jan. 11, 2021, in Battleford Court of Queen’s Bench, but is now tentatively rescheduled for Aug. 30, 2021.

Read more: Jesse Sangster to stand trial for Tiki Laverdiere’s death

Cook, 32, was arrested on Aug. 16, 2019, and is one of 10 people charged in Laverdiere’s death.

Laverdiere, 25, from Edmonton, was reported missing to Battlefords RCMP on May 12, 2019. She was in Saskatchewan on April 27, 2019, to attend the funeral of Tristen Cook-Buckle, 20, on Thunderchild First Nation.

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Her body was found on July 11, 2019, when the RCMP conducted a ground search in a rural area near North Battleford.

In May 2019, Battlefords RCMP said Laverdiere was last seen on May 1, 2019, and that her last contact with her family was on May 1, 2019, via text message.

10 people arrested

From July 2019 to August 2020, police arrested 10 people in Saskatchewan and Alberta in Laverdiere’s homicide investigation.

Nicole Cook, Soaringeagle Whitstone, Shayla Orthner, Danita Thomas and Jesse Sangster were charged with kidnapping, first-degree murder, improperly interfering with a body and theft of a vehicle.

Nikita Sandra Cook and Charles St. Savard were charged with first-degree murder and kidnapping.

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Brent Checkosis, Mavis Takakenew and Samuel Takakenew were charged with accessory to murder after the fact.

Read more: Prosecutor calls Tiki Laverdiere homicide ‘one of the most complicated matters’ in the province

Two sentenced

In May 2020, Checkosis was sentenced to seven years in prison and Mavis Takakenew was handed an 18-month sentence after pleading guilty.

There is a publication ban on the sentencing hearings for Checkosis and Takakenew until the trials of all co-accused are finished.

Read more: Sentences handed down in Tiki Laverdiere homicide case

Upcoming court appearances

Charles St. Savard is scheduled to appear in North Battleford provincial court on Jan. 11, 2021.

Samuel Takakenew is scheduled to appear in North Battleford provincial court on Jan. 15, 2021.

Soaring Eagle Whitstone’s trial is scheduled for August 2022. Shayla Ortner’s trial is set for April 2022.

Trial dates have yet to be set for Nicole Cook and Jesse Sangster. They are on the March 2021 pretrial list at Battleford Court of Queen’s Bench.

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The charges against the eight remaining co-accused haven’t been proven in court.

© 2021 The Battlefords Regional News-Optimist

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