April 12th, 2024

Saskatchewan inquest into killer’s in-custody death to hear from final two witnesses

By Kelly Geraldine Malone, The Canadian Press on February 29, 2024.

Vanessa Burns, who had been in a domestic partnership with Myles Sanderson for 14 years, speaks to media during an afternoon break at the inquest into the apprehension and death of Myles Sanderson, who killed 11 people and injured 17 others on James Smith Cree Nation and the nearby community of Weldon in September 2022, held at a hotel conference room in Saskatoon, Wednesday, February 28, 2024. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Liam Richards

SASKATOON – A Saskatchewan coroner’s inquest into the death of a man who killed 11 people and injured 17 others in a stabbing rampage is expected to hear from its final two witnesses.

Jurors have heard how Myles Sanderson laughed and asked Mounties how many people he had killed when he was taken into custody on Sept. 7, 2022.

The mass killer had been on the run for several days after going on a stabbing rampage on the James Smith Cree Nation and in the nearby village of Weldon.

The inquest heard that while Sanderson was being detained, his knees buckled and he began to have seizures.

The emergency room doctor who pronounced Sanderson dead is scheduled to provide details today.

A forensic pathologist has said Sanderson had overdosed on cocaine.

The inquest has heard that three days after bringing death and chaos to the First Nation, Mounties received a call from a woman who said Sanderson had stolen her truck.

Jurors saw video from RCMP dashboard cameras of a high-speed police pursuit that ended with the truck Sanderson was driving going into a ditch on a highway north of Saskatoon.

Officers descended on the truck. After Sanderson was removed from the vehicle, video shows the mass killer asking why officers didn’t shoot him. Const. Bill Rowley told jurors Wednesday that Sanderson was smug and arrogant during the arrest.

In the video, Sanderson’s knees buckle and he is placed on the ground. Mounties and paramedics told the inquest that he began to have seizures.

Sanderson was placed in an ambulance and brought to hospital in Saskatoon where he was declared dead.

The inquest is to establish when and where Sanderson died and the cause of his death. The six-person jury may also provide recommendations.

Vanessa Burns, who was Sanderson’s common-law partner, said Wednesday that the inquest has brought up complex emotions. Her father, Earl Burns Sr., was killed by Sanderson on the First Nation.

Burns said she felt disappointment and anger that Sanderson didn’t show any remorse.

“It was hurtful,” she said.

A criminal investigative psychologist is also scheduled to testify on Thursday about Sanderson’s behaviour. Matt Logan, who is also a former RCMP officer, testified during a separate inquest into the massacre held last month that examined each of the killings and issued more than two dozen recommendations.

Logan told that inquest that Sanderson showed many psychopathic traits.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Feb. 29, 2024.

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