A suspect in the death of a Saskatchewan RCMP officer is facing a new charge of first degree murder after previous manslaughter charges were withdrawn, according to RCMP.
Const. Shelby Patton, who worked at the Indian Head detachment, was killed on June 12 after he stopped two suspects allegedly driving a stolen truck in the town of Wolseley, Sask. Patton, 26, was struck by the vehicle and later died at the scene.
Alphonse Stanley Traverse, 42, and Marlene Velma Louise Pagee, 43, both from Winnipeg, were originally charged with manslaughter, failure to stop after an accident resulting in death, theft of a motor vehicle, possession of stolen property over $5,000 and breach of undertaking for leaving Manitoba.
On Friday, Saskatchewan RCMP said both manslaughter charges have been withdrawn. Traverse is now charged with first degree murder, while Pagee is charged with accessory after the fact to murder. All other charges are still before the courts.
“Since June 12, Saskatchewan RCMP Major Crime Unit North investigators have remained committed to the investigation into the death of Cst. Shelby Patton. This includes conducting further witness interviews and completing forensic examinations,” said Assistant Commissioner Rhonda Blackmore, commanding officer of the Saskatchewan RCMP, in a statement.
Traverse appeared by video in provincial court on Friday morning. He is scheduled to be back in court on Dec. 20 at 9:30 a.m. when he will be spoken to by the judge.
Pagee appeared by video from Pine Grove Correction Centre on Friday afternoon. Because the manslaughter charge against Pagee has been dropped, the lawyer representing her is requesting a bail verification report from the judge.
According to the Elizabeth Fry Society, the bail verification process involves gathering interviews that would be shared with the courts to help determine if the accused should be released from custody. The lawyers representing Pagee said there is a residence in Winnipeg secured for her through the Elizabeth Fry Society if she is released.
The judge confirmed he will complete this report. Pagee will remain in custody in the meantime and the matter will return to provincial court on Dec. 2 at 9:30 a.m.