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Pre-trial conference for Orthner set for March 27

Shayla-Ann Victoria Orthner, 28, waived her right for a preliminary hearing on first-degree murder and kidnapping charges in connection with the murder of Tiki Brook-Lyn Laverdiere. 

Orthner appeared in North Battleford Provincial Court Jan. 31 via CCTV from the Saskatoon Provincial Correctional Centre. 

A pre-trial conference was set in Battleford Court of Queen’s Bench on March 27. She is also charged with improperly interfering with a human body and theft of a vehicle. 

Orthner pleaded guilty to outstanding charges out of Saskatoon on another matter including being a passenger in a vehicle knowing it was stolen and failing to appear in court to give evidence. 

Crown Prosecutor Chris Browne told the court that Orthner was in a vehicle that was believed to be stolen, which fled when Saskatoon Police tried to stop the car. Browne said Orthner fled and was found by police dog services hiding under a deck of a house. 

Orthner’s legal aid lawyer told the court that Orthner has no prior criminal record and suspected the car was stolen, but didn’t follow up on her suspicions.  

Judge Murray Pelletier gave Orthner 30 days in jail for those charges.

Orthner is one of eight co-accused in connection with the death of Laverdiere, 25, in 2019.

Nikita Cook’s first-degree murder trial is set for Jan. 11 to March 5, 2021, in Battlefords’ Court of Queen's Bench.

Danita Thomas, Soaring Eagle Whitstone and Nicole Cook were also charged with first-degree murder and improperly interfering with a human body. Thomas’s three-week preliminary is set for December.  Whitstone’s three-week preliminary hearing is in November in North Battleford Provincial Court. Nicole Cook reappears Feb. 21. 

Police charged Mavis Takakanew, 55, Jesse Sangster, 23, and Brent Checkosis with accessory after the fact to murder. Takakenew reappears Jan. 24 for a pretrial hearing. Sangster has a three-week preliminary hearing scheduled to start on June 9 in North Battleford Provincial Court. Checkosis pleaded guilty in Queen’s Bench to accessory to murder. He will be sentenced Feb. 10. 

Laverdiere, who was from Edmonton, was in North Battleford in May 2019 to attend the funeral of Tristen Cook-Buckle. His mother, Nicole Cook, is one of the eight-co-accused in Laverdiere’s murder. 

Laverdiere was reported missing to Battlefords RCMP on May 12, 2019. In June 2019 Saskatchewan RCMP said they were investigating her disappearance as a homicide. Her remains were found in a rural area outside of North Battleford on July 11, 2019. 


Lisa Joy, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, The Battlefords Regional News-Optimist