July 19th, 2024

Woman who disposed of dead body to learn her fate in August

By Delon Shurtz - Lethbridge Herald on June 29, 2024.

LETHBRIDGE HERALDdshurtz@lethbridgeherald.com

A Claresholm woman who has been waiting for months to learn her fate for disposing of a dead body, is finally scheduled to be sentenced, but not for a few more weeks.
Michelle Lee Toth, who pleaded guilty more than three months to the criminal charge of interfering with a dead body, will be sentenced in August, Calgary lawyer Andre Ouellette confirmed during a brief hearing Friday in Lethbridge court of justice.
Toth helped dispose of Lane Tailfeathers’ body following his brutal beating three years ago, and while she pleaded guilty last March, her sentencing hearing has been adjourned several times while the Crown, defence and judge attempted to co-ordinate their schedules.
The Crown has recommended that Toth be sent to jail for a year, while Ouellette has argued for a conditional sentence. A conditional sentence will allow Toth to serve a sentence in the community, likely under house arrest or with a combination of house arrest and curfew. Justice Gregory Maxwell is expected to give his decision on Aug. 1.
On the evening of June 20, 2021, Tailfeathers was at a residence in the 300 block of 20 Street in Fort Macleod where Miranda Mae Turuk, Randy Lee Giroux and Richard William Lavell beat him to death. While Lavell held Tailfeathers in a headlock, Giroux struck him multiple times in the head, and Turuk struck him in the body and head with a small bat.
Turuk pleaded guilty in April to manslaughter, and was sentenced to just under three years in jail, minus the equivalent of just over two years she spent in remand custody, which left her with seven months to serve. Co-accused Giroux and Lavell also pleaded guilty and received the same sentence in March, but they were given full credit for time they spent in remand custody, and their sentences were deemed served.
Toth, along with another individual, Edward Alexander Goodrich of Granum, was recruited to help clean up the blood and dispose of the body, which Toth and Giroux did several hours later by taking it northwest of Lundbreck Falls and rolling it down a rocky embankment. The skeletal remains were found in the same spot a month later.
Goodrich disposed of garbage bags filled with blood-soaked rags in a dumpster in Fort Macleod. He pleaded guilty in March to a charge of interfering with a dead body, and was sentenced to one year in jail, which was also deemed served by time he had already spent in remand custody.

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