Parole board decision allowing Peeteetuce to live in Saskatoon worries crash victim’s family
A national parole board decision not to prohibit Cheyann Peeteetuce, a 25-year-old woman guilty of fatally crashing a stolen truck four years ago, from living in Saskatoon upon her statutory release isn’t sitting well with the family of at least one of the crash’s victims.
“I couldn’t eat, I couldn’t sleep that night, because I don’t want anybody to be the victim again,” Marilou Haughey said Wednesday when asked about her reaction to hearing news Peeteetuce is allowed to live in Saskatoon.
“I feel that releasing her here in Saskatoon is not safe for the public. Who is going to be the next victim?”
Marilou’s son, James Paul Haughey, was one of two teenagers killed May 5, 2014, when a stolen pickup truck driven by Peeteetuce sped through the intersection of 22nd Street West and Avenue M at about 90 km/h before crashing into two other vehicles. One of the vehicles, a car, was pushed on its side and into the wall of a medical clinic.
Peeteetuce pleaded guilty in December 2014 to several charges — including criminal negligence causing death, possession of a stolen vehicle, impaired driving and evading police — and was sentenced a few months later to six years in prison.
She was recently let out of prison on statutory release on seven conditions imposed by the Parole Board of Canada. She must avoid drinking establishments, the consumption of alcohol and drugs, contact with the victims and their families, and contact with anyone associated with gangs or criminal activity. She must also take prescribed medication and follow a treatment plan.
The conditions do not include restrictions on where she can live, and a document from the parole board states her plan is to return home to live with family members — even though her case management team does not support the plan.
Haughey’s parents said they’re worried for others’ safety if Peeteetuce remains in Saskatoon. They said they wrote letters to the parole board requesting she not be released in the city.
“I think it would be better for everybody in the community and it would also be better for her. She wouldn’t be in the environment she was in before,” Haughey’s dad, Alex, said.
Peeteetuce’s criminal history included theft, possession of stolen property and taking a motor vehicle without consent, prior to the crash. She was also affiliated with gangs.
The parole board’s document on Peeteetuce’s conditions states the board considered the request she not be released in Saskatoon, and a statement released Wednesday said board members give careful consideration to information provided by victims regarding safety concerns and the effect of the offence on family and the community.
Haughey’s parents said they feel let down by the justice system.
“To us, it feels like there was no consideration taken whatsoever, and we feel, again, that we are being victimized by our system once more,” Alex said.
The document states Peeteetuce is a low-to-moderate risk to violently reoffend and risks of that happening include drugs and alcohol, criminal association and “severe emotional dysregulation.”
Statutory release legislation requires federally sentenced offenders to serve the final third of their sentence in the community, under supervision and conditions, according to Correctional Service Canada’s website. Offenders serving life or indeterminate sentences are not eligible, and statutory release may not be granted in some cases, if Canada’s parole board issues a detention order.