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Sask. mass killer dies from accidental overdose, jury finds

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The jury at the inquest into Myles Sanderson’s in-custody death found the mass murderer did not intend to kill himself but accidentally died from a cocaine overdose.

The jury delivered its findings on what led to the 32-year-old’s death, on Thursday evening.

Sanderson’s uncle Eddie Head said learning what happened to his nephew has brought closure.

“It brought closure to the families as they wanted to understand how did Myles pass, how did Myles end his life, what were the last days of his life,” Head said.

Sanderson was arrested and later died in hospital on September 7, 2022— three days after he killed 11 people in the communities of James Smith Cree Nation and Weldon.

Throughout the nearly week-long inquest, the jury heard testimony from 13 witnesses including criminal psychologist Matt Logan, who conducted a post-mortem behavioural analysis on the Sanderson.

The inquest heard Sanderson ingested 10 times the lethal amount of cocaine just moments before he was handcuffed, but Logan believes Sanderson’s death was an accident.

He said in his opinion Sanderson didn’t want to waste “good cocaine” and he didn’t care if he lived or died.

The jury made four recommendations, one suggesting the Saskatoon Police Service develop a dedicated team tasked with arresting those with outstanding warrants. The other three were directed to the RCMP, recommending it enhances driving training to include pursuit tactics, review policy for pursuits, and add more training to enhance extraction techniques from arrest takedowns.

Rhonda Blackmore, commanding officer for the Saskatchewan RCMP, said the organization will review the recommendations.

“I think the recommendations were very relevant to the incident as it unfolded. We have to remember that this incident was an incredibly high-risk incident outside what would see, as what we refer to, that day-to-day policing,” Blackmore told media.

She said the RCMP is actively implementing some recommendations from the Melfort inquest that looked into the deaths of Sanderson’s victims.

James Smith Cree Nation chief Wally Burns said now that both inquests have wrapped up, the community can focus on healing.

“On behalf of my nation, a sense of healing is a sense of pride,” Burns said.

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