Alexa Emerson pleads guilty, sentenced in bomb threat and suspicious packages case
Alexa Emerson, the woman behind a string of bomb threats and suspicious package deliveries in Saskatoon, will spend another 115 days in jail.
The 32-year-old, who was facing more than 80 charges heading into proceedings Wednesday at Saskatoon’s Court of Queen’s Bench, was sentenced to two years less a day in jail, after entering guilty pleas to 15 charges. The 15 offences, which included public mischief and uttering threats, were condensed from the 80-plus charges and were listed on a new indictment filed by Crown and defence lawyers.
The sentence, which was jointly submitted by the Crown and defence, was accepted by the judge, meaning Emerson will serve another 115 days in custody after credit for time served. She will serve three years on probation after her release.
“Why is it adequate? Because it meets the principles and purposes of sentencing set out in… the Criminal Code,” Jennifer Claxton-Viczko, a Crown prosecutor in the case, told reporters outside court.
“Part of those purposes, as I read out in court, are to deter people from offending and to denounce the conduct. That is covered off with the two-year jail sentence. The other aspects of purposes and principles of sentencing include factors like rehabilitation. In this case, the probation order will assist the offender in rehabilitating by giving her three years of psychiatric care.”
A majority of the 15 offences to which Emerson pleaded guilty were tied to several bomb threats made, and suspicious packages sent, last year and in 2016, according to an agreed statement of facts submitted Wednesday.
The document shows Emerson, who is also known as Amanda Totchek, targeted ex-boyfriends, their families, their workplaces, her own current and former workplaces, and an office of her former lawyer, among other locations, with the bomb threats and package deliveries. Several of the threats and packages were made or sent to implicate her targets, the statement of facts shows.
Two of the 15 counts related to harassing emails and messages, and hoax videos, she sent in the fall of 2016. The videos, which showed herself bound and being assaulted, were meant to mislead police.
Other counts were connected with a string of vulgar and threatening letters she sent, or arranged to be sent, to a number of people, the agreed facts state. The letters, which were signed in the name of a different former boyfriend, were meant to harass and implicate him.
Another count was tied to a video Emerson orchestrated by hiring an American actress to read what the actress thought was a book excerpt but what was intended to act as a confession for some of the suspicious package deliveries.
The last was connected with Emerson breaching conditions while on bail.
“What happened in these 15 counts is unacceptable in society,” Justice Gerald Allbright told court.
He called the case “extremely unique,” given the large number of people affected.
Claxton-Viczko said in court the bomb threats and suspicious white powder packages led to several building evacuations and traffic diversions, and she even noted one package sent to the Saskatoon Cancer Centre prevented some patients from receiving treatment.
Court also heard the financial cost of responding to the threats and packages reached well into the thousands. For instance, the emergency response to five packages delivered in one day in November 2016 surpassed $80,000.
The powder in all the deliveries was not dangerous.
Emerson was given the opportunity to speak in court prior to her sentencing, but she declined.
Emerson has been in custody since April of last year, after she turned herself in. She was wanted on a Canada-wide warrant at the time.
She was denied bail last summer, and early this year Saskatchewan’s attorney general approved a direct indictment request from the Crown, which meant the case would head straight to trial and skip a preliminary hearing.
--- based on a report from Ashley Field