3rd man charged with murder in violent death of Saskatoon man

A third man is now charged with second degree murder in connection with the August 29 death of James Swift, 40.

Swift died after an altercation just north of Saskatoon. Details of what happened are slowly emerging in court.

Ashtin Ritzand, 28, appeared in provincial court on Thursday and is now charged with second degree murder, attempted murder and robbery. He returns to court on September 7.

RCMP say Swift and a woman were in a car with three men when the altercation occurred. It’s unclear what triggered it, but Swift was killed and left at a rural intersection near Wanuskewin Heritage Park. The court heard on Thursday that the woman was stabbed in the neck and also left at the intersection.

She is recovering in the hospital.

James Swift was well known in the local music community. (James Swift/Facebook)

Swift’s death led to numerous messages of condolence on social media. The 40-year-old was a well-known figure in the local music community.

“You’ll find him at any show,” Dustee-Raiye Wiklun said.

Wiklun went to elementary and high school in Saskatoon with Swift. He said that his friend was into the guitar, but was first and foremost a music lover. His musical tastes ranged from John Prine to Metallica, touching on every point in between.

“He had a good mind, a good heart,” he said.

“We are all stunned.”


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