Warning: graphic content

The mother of a six-week-old baby who was killed by a teen girl in Saskatoon last year says part of her died when her son did.

Nikosis Jace Cantre’s mother Alyssa Bird stood beside her cousin and cried when she got the cousin to read her victim impact statement Thursday in Saskatoon Provincial Court.

“A part of me has died. I’ve been robbed of my baby,” Bird wrote in the statement.

Gasping for air

Bird said she was in the process of moving to Saskatoon when Nikosis was killed but didn’t complete the move after his funeral. Since his death she’d contemplated suicide but stayed strong for her other children, she wrote in the statement.

Bird said it’s still a nightmare when she recalls finding Nikosis in his play pen with scratches, bruising, swelling and blood coming from his ears.

“I knew something was wrong with him,” the victim impact statement read. “He was gasping for air.”

Nikosis was rushed to the hospital where he was pronounced dead just before 7:30 a.m. on July 3, 2016. He died of blunt force trauma to the head. A teen girl, who can’t be identified under the Youth Criminal Justice Act, has pleaded guilty to second-degree murder.

Victim impact statements

Six family members presented victim impact statements on the fourth day of a hearing to determine if the teen will be sentenced as an adult. Many of them said the family has become distant since the death and argue more.

“It’s like we don’t know how to be happy anymore,” Nikosis’s grandfather Jefferey Longman said in court.

Some family members expressed feeling guilt about the death and that it’s taken a physical, emotional, social and economic toll on their lives. Many said they now have trouble sleeping.

“I will miss his little presence so much,” Longman said. “To this day I do not sleep very good. I wake up at night and think about him.”

Nikosis’s aunt Larissa Bird was at the home when Nikosis was found by his mother. She ran outside and asked another aunt to call 911.

“I feel like I’ve failed as an auntie,” Larissa Bird said.

She was pregnant at the time and considered giving her baby to Nikosis’s mother, Alyssa Bird.

The teen covered her face with a grey sweater when she listened to the victim impact statements from the prisoner's box.

Lifelong services

The teen will need “lifelong” services, which cannot be provided with a youth sentence or an intensive rehabilitation custody program for young violent offenders with mental health issues, according to the provincial coordinator of the program Jennifer Peterson.

Defence lawyer Brian Pfefferle said the teen has been recently diagnosed with fetal alcohol spectrum disorder and that mental health experts believe the teen doesn’t have the ability to internalize programming and makes changes in her life.

She was handed a 30-day sentence on Thursday for assaulting a staff member while on remand at the Paul Dojack Youth Centre in Regina.

The murder

In July of last year the teen escaped while serving an open-custody sentence at Kilburn Hall in Saskatoon and roamed the streets in Saskatoon looking for a place to say. She told a woman she escaped from a group home in Prince Albert. The stranger gave her food, clothing and tried to take her to EGADZ, a youth centre, but it was closed, according to an agreed statement of facts.

The woman eventually took the teen a home in the 200 block of Waterloo Crescent, where Nikosis and his family lived. The teen had never met anyone in the home prior but they agreed to let her stay there.

Last week court watched a video which showed the teen explaining to police in great detail, how she choked, punched, kicked and stabbed Nikosis with a metal nail.

I was holding that baby, rocking him like a mom,” she said in the video. She was in the room for about five minutes before she beat him. “I just started choking him and punching his head in.”

The teen said she took all her anger out on the baby.

“I was sick and tired of life,” she said. “That’s why I hurt that baby and I killed it.”

Lawyers in the case are scheduled to present their closing arguments in the adult sentencing hearing Friday.

Angelina Irinici is in court for the hearing: