The teen who fatally beat and stabbed six-week-old Nikosis Cantre told a Saskatoon courtroom Friday she’s “truly sorry” and that “if this happened to my baby, I would be very devastated.”
The brief statement, which also included an apology specifically directed at the Cantre family, came at the end of a days-long hearing meant to help a judge decide whether the teen should be sentenced as a youth or an adult.
That apology was not accepted by Nikosis’s grandfather, Jeffery Longman.
Nikosis Cantre’s grandfather, Jeffery Longman, speaks outside the courtroom Friday. (CBC)
“There’s no sorries for what you did. Sorry ain’t gonna bring him back,” he said outside the courtroom.
“We just got him into our home. This would have been his second Christmas.”
Justice Sanjeev Anand will decide on the sentence on Feb. 27, 2018.
Earlier on Friday, Crown lawyer Jennifer Claxton-Viczko argued the 16-year-old girl knew her actions were wrong, has violent tendencies and should be sentenced as an adult so that she can get lifelong treatment.
Experts had previously testified that the most intensive youth rehabilitation wouldn’t work for the teen, who confessed to the crime and can’t be identified because of her age at the time of the July 2016 murder.
Crown prosecutor Jennifer Claxton-Viczko said that ‘given all her difficulties,’ the teen should receive lifelong treatment at Saskatoon’s Regional Psychiatric Centre. (CBC)
“This was a brutal attack on a helpless infant,” Claxton-Viczko said.
That the teen hid the bloody blanket after the attack indicates she was “cognizant,” the Crown attorney said.
‘Afraid it may happen again’
After the killing, the teen reportedly said, “I won’t do it again … but I am afraid it may happen again.”
The teen also behaved violently in the past with both humans and animals, according to Claxton-Viczko.
She concluded that “given all her difficulties,” the teen should receive lifelong treatment at the Regional Psychiatric Centre in Saskatoon.
Teen ‘sentenced from birth’
Defence attorney, Brian Pfefferle, argued the teen should be sentenced as a youth — partly due to her harsh upbringing, partly because she “doesn’t even act like a 16-year-old” currently.
“She is more like a toddler in the way she makes up stories, the way she sees the world,” said Pfefferle.
He said the combination of fetal alcohol spectrum disorder, her age and her childhood — which included sexual abuse — makes her “incapable of really controlling her behaviour and thinking.”
The teen was “sentenced from birth,” Pfefferle said, born to a mother who rejected her and once said, “Get that thing away from me.”
‘I wake up at night and think about him’
Before the night of the killing, Nikosis’s family had never met the teen.
On Thursday, family members took the stand to give victim impact statements.
“I miss his little presence so much,” said grandfather Longman. “I wake up at night and think about him — a part of me is missing.”
On the stand, family members said that writing the statements retraumatized them.
“[It’s] a nightmare every time I think about it,” said Nikosis’s mother, Alyssa Bird. “A part of me has died.”
Timeline of the night of the killing
According to an agreed statement of facts, the teen escaped the open custody wing of Kilburn Hall shortly after midnight on July 2, 2016.
Hours later she met Melissa Bird, a family member of Nikosis Cantre. The teen told Bird she had escaped Kilburn. Bird offered the teen a ride, a meal and tried to take her to Egadz. The youth outreach centre, however, was closed and the teen was invited back to the house.
The family agreed to let the teen stay at the house until they could find her somewhere else to live.
The next morning, while many of the family where sleeping, the teen heard the baby crying.
She went into the room, cradled the infant before beating him to death. She also stabbed and stomped on the baby.
Nikosis died of blunt force trauma.
The teen told police officers days later that she was angry.
“I let all my anger out on that baby,” she said during a videotaped confession to police.
Youth or adult sentence
Earlier this week, an official with the Saskatchewan Ministry of Justice testified the teen would not benefit from the most intensive youth rehabilitation programs in the province.
If the teen is sentenced as an adult and receives a life sentence, she would be eligible for parole by the time she was 25. But James Gonzo, an official with Correctional Service Canada said that doesn’t necessarily mean she would be released.
“We would never support or recommend day or full parole grant for someone assessed a high risk to reoffend,” he told the court.
Nikosis’s family had previously said they also want an adult sentence.
CBC reporter Charles Hamilton was tweeting live from the hearing. You can follow his tweets below.
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