December 2nd, 2015 ~ Vol. 85 No. 46
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Saretzky is found fit to stand trial for murder
Crowsnest Pass Herald Front Page
Source: Facebook
Derek Saretzky
EZRA BLACK
Pass Herald Reporter
In the mind of Terry Blanchette’s sister Amanda Blanchette, there is no question of who is responsible for the deaths of her young niece and brother.

“We only hope that he pleads guilty and can bypass a trial,” said Amanda of accused murderer Derek Saretzky.

A guilty plea would mean the case would go straight to sentencing with the Crown and defence debating facts of law until coming up with a verdict.

On Nov. 26 in a Lethbridge court, Saretzky, 22, was deemed psychologically fit enough to stand trial though a judge has not ruled on the matter.

He appeared via closed-circuit television from the Calgary Remand Centre in a Lethbridge courtroom on. He said little during the brief appearance.

The matter was adjourned to give defence counsel time to review his psychological assessment, which has not been made public.

Saretzky is charged with first-degree murder in the September deaths of two-year-old Hailey Dunbar-Blanchette and her father Terry Blanchette.

He is also charged with committing indignity to a body in connection to Hailey.

Media reports suggest Saretzky was on a hunger strike in the days leading up to the court appearance and was sent to Foothills Hospital in Calgary on Nov. 25, as a precaution.
continued below ...
On Sept. 23, Saretzky was by himself in the shower at the Lethbridge Correctional Centre when he attempted suicide. He was found in medical distress by guards, and transported to Chinook Regional Hospital for treatment.

He was ordered to undergo 30-day review of his mental health. Last month a judge was told that doctors at the Southern Alberta Forensic Psychiatric Centre in Calgary needed more time for their analysis. An additional 28 days were granted.

Saretzky was arrested in the Crowsnest Pass after Terry, 27, was found dead in his Blairmore home on Sept. 14, and a widespread Amber Alert was issued for two-year-old Hailey, who had been abducted earlier that morning.

Her remains were discovered in a rural area the next day.

Saretzky’s next court date is Feb. 26.
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December 2nd ~ Vol. 85 No. 46
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