Supporters hold a rally during the first court appearance of a Saskatoon mother accused of faking death and abducting a child

A Saskatoon woman charged with parental kidnapping and public mischief after allegedly illegally crossing the United States made her first appearance in Canadian court on Monday morning.

The woman disappeared at the end of July with her seven-year-old child. CBC News is not naming her due to a ban on publishing information that could identify her child.

His truck and other belongings were found at Chief Whitecap Park near the South Saskatchewan River near Saskatoon on July 25. Police and community members searched for the mother and son at length.

But the woman and her child were found safely in Oregon City, Oregon on August 5 and she was arrested. The child was brought back to Saskatoon by a legal guardian shortly thereafter.

Ahead of his first court appearance on Monday, supporters held a rally outside the court. They held signs of support and shared songs. They also reaffirmed their belief that the woman should be released on bail.

Crown Prosecutor Tyla Olenchuk said Monday the Crown opposes the woman’s release. She said she would explain why at a bail hearing scheduled for Friday afternoon. The hearing is expected to last for hours.

The woman’s family and friends were not happy that the Crown opposed her release.

« We are truly disappointed, upset and angry with the way the Crown Prosecutor is treating our sister, » the defendant’s sister said after the court appearance. « She’s not a danger to society, she’s an indigenous woman. She’s a mother who wants to be with her son. »

Attorney Chris Murphy is leaving on Monday following a court appearance by his client, not pictured, who is accused of abducting her child. (The Canadian Press/Liam Richards)

The woman has previously made domestic violence allegations against the boy’s father. Police said the allegations were investigated and no evidence was found to support them. Olenchuk is also seeking a no-contact order from the court to prevent the woman from communicating with her child or her ex, the boy’s father.

The Federation of Sovereign Indigenous Nations (FSIN), a group representing First Nations in Saskatchewan, has called for the woman’s release and an investigation into the police handling of her domestic violence allegations.

The woman previously said she had « no choice » but to flee the city with her son.

She will be represented by one of Canada’s best-known defense lawyers, Marie Henein. Henein is known for several high profile cases, defending the likes of Michael Bryant, Vice Admiral Mark Norman and Jian Ghomeshi.

Henein was not in Saskatoon on Monday, but local Chris Murphy acted as her agent. He told the court they were unhappy with the way the woman was treated while in police custody in Saskatoon.

At around 4 p.m. CST on Friday, the woman was transferred to Saskatoon police custody after spending about weeks in US federal custody and then briefly in British Columbia RCMP custody.

Murphy said the woman spent three nights in a small holding cell, sleeping on a concrete slab with no mattress, pillow or blanket. He said she had not been given toothpaste or a toothbrush.

Henein released a statement on the matter Monday afternoon.

« The system failed [the accused]like so many others,” the statement read.

« [Her] the voice will not be silenced. Although it is commonplace for the defense attorney to say that the case will be vigorously defended, in [her] cases, truer words could not be spoken. »

Prosecutor Olenchuk said the woman would be sent to Pine Grove Correctional Facility in Prince Albert, Saskatchewan to await her bail hearing.

She also faces charges in the United States for allegedly using false documents to cross the border. US prosecutors previously said in a request for detention pending trial that the woman planned to fake her own death long before she disappeared.

Additional charges may be added to his case as the investigation into the events surrounding his disappearance progresses, according to Saskatoon police.

The accused is an acclaimed author and was also the chief executive of the FSIN.

When asked if the FSIN would pay the woman’s legal fees, Vice Chief Heather Bear said she would if she had the money, but referenced a GoFundMe campaign set up to help. to legal fees.

This GoFundMe had raised over $30,000 in donations by Monday afternoon.


Back to top button