Cheyann Peeteetuce: Indian Posse, a dead son and a fatal Saskatoon crash
Crown and judge concerned with criminal lifestyle at January sentencing
A prosecutor and provincial court judge both voiced concerns about Cheyann Peeteetuce's sudden taste for stolen cars at a sentencing hearing in January.
The 21-year-old pleaded guilty to her role in three auto thefts and a handful of breaches on January 23. She is now facing more than a dozen charges in connection with a May 5 fatal crash that killed two Saskatoon teens.
Police say Peeteetuce was driving a truck that broadsided the car carrying three high school students on the way to track practice.
Suddenly on the court radar
Peeteetuce had no criminal record when she pleaded guilty in January. CBC obtained an audio recording of the hearing.
"I'm not sure what's going on behind the scenes, she doesn't have a criminal record, these things are all multiplying quite quickly," said prosecutor Bryce Pashovitz.
I'm not sure what's happening behind the scenes.- Bryce Pashovitz
The apparent change in Peeteetuce's behaviour also concerned her mother. The 21-year-old had been arrested in a stolen Lincoln MKX on Jan. 4 and released on conditions that included living in an approved residence.
But that didn't last.
"Marie Peeteetuce called the police to say that her daughter, Cheyann Peeteetuce, had moved out of the residence and she wanted to tell the police that she had not heard from her for actually quite some days," Pashovitz said.
She was arrested again, in mid-January, this time while in a stolen Chevy Blazer.
Losing a young son
At the hearing, defence lawyer Deb Hopkins said Peeteetuce was struggling unsuccessfully to deal with the sudden death of her son the previous fall.
"She told me she lost a one-year-old child five months ago, so I think this explains why things have been terribly off the rails for her, after apparently the boy had been in the care of her boyfriend's mother," Hopkins said.
"They found opiates in the baby's blood, I guess they must've done an autopsy or something, she wasn't caring for the child right at that point and the little boy's gone."
I just wanna stop doing the things that I do.- Cheyann Peeteetuce
Judge Barry Singer spoke directly to Peeteetuce.
"I've never had to deal with grief like that. I don't know what I would do. I'm hoping that you've learned that this is not the way to deal with it. Go out and have a good time stealing cars and being involved in that doesn't solve anything, does it? It just makes it worse for you," Singer said.
Peeteetuce seemed to agree.
"I just wanna stop doing the things that I do, get back on my feet," she said.
A social media portrait
In that same period, however, a different portrait of Cheyann Peeteetuce emerges through social media.
On her Facebook page, she grieves openly for her young son.
But she is also apparently involved in the city's gang scene. There are photos of her in the colours of the Indian Posse; admitting and bragging about her affiliation with the gang; bragging about alcohol and drug abuse; and charting the ups and downs of her various relationships.
Peeteetuce returns to court Thursday for a bail hearing.
Sarah Wensley, one of the 17-year-old victims in last week's crash, was buried this past weekend. The funeral for the second victim, J.P. Haughey, also 17, is scheduled for this coming weekend.
Both teens were students at Bethlehem Catholic High School. A 16-year-old classmate who survived the crash is still in hospital with serious injuries.