Teen in court on mur­der charges

Ac­cused in killing of four peo­ple back in court Feb. 22

The Guardian (Charlottetown) - - CANADA / WORLD -

A teen charged with killing four peo­ple at a school and a home in a shoot­ing in north­ern Saskatchewan stared at the floor for much of his first court ap­pear­ance.

The tall, thin 17-year-old wore an or­ange jumpsuit and had his legs and hands shack­led as he was brought into a packed court­room in Meadow Lake — a com­mu­nity about 350 kilo­me­tres south of La Loche, where the shoot­ing hap­pened.

He spoke in a soft voice as the judge asked him whether he un­der­stood he is not to con­tact sev­eral peo­ple in­volved in the case.

He is to be held in cus­tody un­til his next court ap­pear­ance Feb. 22.

The teen, who can’t be named un­der the Youth Crim­i­nal Jus­tice Act, is charged with four counts of first-de­gree mur­der and seven counts of at­tempted mur­der.

A teacher and an aide were shot dur­ing an eight-minute pe­riod at the La Loche high school on Fri­day. Seven peo­ple were in­jured.

Two brothers were also shot to death at a home in La Loche prior to the school shoot­ing.

Judge Janet McIvor placed a pub­li­ca­tion ban on the names of the in­jured.

“There’s to be no phone calls, no let­ters, no get­ting mes­sages to any of th­ese peo­ple or their fam­i­lies.

“There’s to be no con­tact at all.”

Out­side court, lawyer Ian Moku­ruk said he was con­tacted on the week­end to rep­re­sent the ac­cused.

Asked about how his client was do­ing, he said: “He’s up­set. Much like his de­meanour in court, he was not at all happy, which is un­der­stand­able. It’s a very tragic sit­u­a­tion.”

Bob Merasty, a se­cond vice chief with the Fed­er­a­tion of Saskatchewan In­dian Na­tions, was at court. He said the tragic sit­u­a­tion echoes larger prob­lems with youth on First Na­tions re­serves.

“This is a young man who is per­haps a vic­tim him­self of cir­cum­stances,” Merasty said.

“It’s a com­mu­nity with a his­tory of vi­o­lence, bul­ly­ing, sui­cides, drugs and abuse and dys­func­tion. This could be any com­mu­nity, this could be my com­mu­nity.”

CP PHOTO

Ger­ald Moise, father of shoot­ing vic­tim Dayne Fon­taine, 17, pours gas on a fire pre­pares to soften the ground to dig a grave in La Loche, Sask., Mon­day. A 17-year-old boy al­legedly shot and killed Moise and three oth­ers.

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