North

Man who dragged girlfriend's body down the street sentenced for manslaughter

Dwayne Sateana was sentenced in Rankin Inlet to 13 years for beating Edith Angalik to death in 2014. He had previously been charged with second-degree murder.

Dwayne Sateana of Rankin Inlet gets 13 years for beating Edith Angalik to death

Less than three weeks before her daughter was brutally killed, Emilia Angalik sent a letter to Rankin Inlet RCMP pleading for help.

"I have a 24-year-old daughter who is being beaten up over and over," wrote Angalik. "I don't think Edith will report Dwayne because she is scared of him. 

"I am desperately in need of help with my daughter for the abuse is escalating."

Police would ask her daughter, 24-year-old Edith Angalik, to provide them with statements, an offer she declined.

Less than three weeks later, she was dead at the hands of Dwayne Sateana, her boyfriend of two years and a man described by a social worker as an angry child in an adult body, the product of alcoholic parents and a casualty of a culture in transition.

"I do not believe Dwayne had any conscious intention to kill Edith," reads a psychological assessment by Abe Kass, a social worker from Ontario.

"But his hands ... were the weapons that caused her death."

'I know how guilty I am'

In July, Sateana, 31, was sentenced in Rankin Inlet to 13 years in prison for manslaughter. He had previously been charged with second-degree murder.

"I know how guilty I am. I feel that every minute of every day," reads a letter Sateana wrote, apologizing for killing Angalik.

"Drinking is not an excuse for what I did. But I know I can never drink. When I drink I am crazy."

Victim impact statements describe Angalik as someone who always listened, never judged, telling a relative, "'Whenever you feel like giving up, remember all the reasons you've been holding on for so long.'"

"I will surprise myself if I ever do learn to forgive Dwayne but don't count on it," wrote Angalik's mother.

On the afternoon of Nov. 21, 2014, Angalik and Sateana began drinking with a few friends down the street from their Rankin Inlet home. The drinking continued into the early hours of the next day.

Later, police would find four empty 40-ounce bottles of whisky, some vodka, beer, and a house full of blood with a faint trail leading down the street where Sateana dragged her body.

The beating

He had already beat up his girlfriend once that day after accusing her of kissing another man and had a fight with his uncle.

At 3 a.m. he would leave his friend's house in search of another party. When he returned less than an hour later he found Angalik getting dressed, having just slept with his friend. At this point, extremely intoxicated, Sateana wrestled his friend to the ground then turned his anger toward Angalik.

He repeatedly punched her. She ran to the laundry room. He followed and continued to beat her, eventually dragging her half-naked, lifeless body outside and down the street to their home, some 135 metres away. The temperature was below -30 C.

A neighbour watched as it happened and went outside. Sateana asked for his help carrying the body. After three metres, the neighbour quickly realized the woman was dead. His wife called the police.

'Culture in transition'

After his arrest, Sateana underwent a psychological assessment.

Kass the social worker, writes that at a young age, Sateana was cast in the role of parenting his mother and father, ensuring his mother's safety and disciplining his father when he became aggressive.

"Dwayne Sateana's life is very simple," writes Kas. "He is an angry child in an adult body who hurts everyone that comes in contact with him. 

"However, all of Dwayne's problems cannot be placed in the laps of his parents. They too have suffered as members of a culture in transition. Well-meaning government officials and Christian missionaries thought they knew what the Inuit people needed and so they imposed changes upon them.

"The Inuit are a culture in transition. They have left their old hunting, traditions and nomadic ways, while at the same time they have not as a people become members of Western culture. Many Inuit are lost as they seek a new life that works for them. At this point in time, the Inuit culture has been knocked down, humbled ... and they have not yet stood up tall and proud as they once had.

"Meanwhile, Inuit men and women like Dwayne Sateana are casualties caused by this cultural transition," Kass wrote.

"Straightening out his twisted life is something I am not sure Dwayne can do. However, with appropriate professional help, he at least has a chance."

now