Sasha Cayen drew Alexander Norwegian into an ambush in which he was beaten by two men, ‘jacked’ of his drugs, and later died of hypothermia, a Yellowknife court was told on Friday.
At a day-long sentencing hearing for the 26-year-old – who pleaded guilty to manslaughter and robbery – Crown prosecutor Jay Potter said Cayen “played an absolutely integral role” in a scheme to have two masked men rob crack-cocaine dealer Norwegian.
The attack took place in Hay River early on Boxing Day 2017.
“She had his contact information,” Potter told Judge Robert Gorin, in arguing for a four-year penitentiary sentence. “To some degree, Alexander Norwegian had trust in Sasha Cayen.”
With Norwegian’s family occupying a full row of seats behind him – some needing to leave court when details of the bloody beating became too graphic – Potter explained what happened the night a group of four friends were drinking and decided they needed drugs.
The court heard similar details on Thursday as Tyler Cayen, 33, was sentenced to two years less a day for his role as an accessory to manslaughter.
Two more accused remain before the courts.
James George Thomas has a preliminary inquiry into his first-degree murder and robbery charges set for next month. Levi Cayen is set to stand trial in early 2020 for first-degree murder and robbery.
On Friday, Potter acknowledged Sasha Cayen was not aware that the two men who went to rob Norwegian had weapons. She was also intoxicated by alcohol and crack cocaine.
It was also the second day Norwegian’s family struggled, through sobs, to deliver multiple victim impact statements. It appeared to be even harder for Norwegian’s mother, Wanda, as she had to sit while delivering her statement.
As her hands shook while holding the piece of paper, she looked at Cayen sitting very still a few feet away from her.
“Sasha, you are responsible for the death of my beautiful son … I will never forgive you,” she said through tears.
“You have shattered my heart and soul. You are guilty of my son’s death and you need to be punished and live through the nightmare I’m going through.”
Defence lawyer Scott Cowan described his client as “shy, gentle and caring,” with modest career goals.
In order to avoid a penitentiary sentence that would be served outside of the NWT, Cowan suggested the judge could reduce the Crown’s prison sentence slightly – and add a substantial period of probation – to enable Cayen to serve her time at the territorial women’s jail in Fort Smith.
Through her lawyer, Cayen declined making a statement to court when asked.
Gorin said he needed time to consider all the information and reserved his decision until January 25 at 1:30pm.