October 7th, 2015 ~ Vol. 85 No. 39
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Derek Saretzky to undergo psychiatric assessment
Crowsnest Pass Herald Front Page
Derek Saretzky
EZRA BLACK
Pass Herald Reporter
Derek Saretzky, the man accused of killing two-year-old Hailey Dunbar-Blanchette and her father Terry Blanchette is undergoing a 30-day psychiatric assessment to determine whether he is fit to stand trial.

The 22-year old Blairmore man faces two charges of first-degree murder. He is also facing one count of indignity to a body in relation to Hailey's death.

Blanchette, 27, was found dead in his home on Sept. 14. The RCMP issued an Amber Alert that spanned three provinces and Montana for Hailey, his missing daughter.

The toddler's remains were discovered the next day in a rural part of Blairmore.

In a Lethbridge courtroom Wednesday, September 30, Saretzky appeared by CCTV and was ordered to undergo a psychiatric evaluation, which will help determine how the case will proceed.

His defence team, led by Edmonton lawyer Peter Northcott, has elected to have the case heard by a judge and jury, if Saretzky is deemed fit to stand trial.

Patrick Edgerton, a lawyer on the defence team, said the psychiatric evaluation would determine what Saretzky’s state of mind was at the time of the offences.

He also said Saretzky's physical condition has improved greatly since his hospitalization.

"As you can see from his appearance in court today, he is walking and talking," said Edgerton. "Of course, he is very concerned about everything that's going on, but he appears to be well."
continued below ...
The psychiatric assessments is taking place at the Southern Alberta Forensic Psychiatry Centre in Calgary.

Multiple sources are reporting that Saretzky was rushed to hospital Sept. 23 after trying to hang himself in prison. Michelle Davio of Alberta Justice confirmed that an inmate was discovered in medical distress at the Lethbridge Correctional Centre.

The inmate’s name or information about the inmate’s condition could not be revealed for prisoner privacy reasons but it was confirmed the medical distress that resulted in transportation to the hospital was not the result of any altercation.

“When an incident occurs we do a thorough review and take action to prevent it from happening again. This could include changes to our policies and procedures, or enhanced training,” said Davio.

Saretzky’s next court appearance is scheduled for Oct. 29.

A public service in memory of Hailey and Terry is being held Friday, October 9 at Crowsnest Consolidated High School at 3 p.m.
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October 7th ~ Vol. 85 No. 39
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