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Trial told teen girl who killed Saskatoon infant needs life-long treatment

Last Updated Dec 12, 2017 at 6:00 pm EDT

SASKATOON – A justice official says a teen girl who killed a six-week-old Saskatoon baby will need to be treated for her psychological problems for the rest of her life.

A judge is to decide whether the teen, now 18, will be sentenced as a youth or an adult for the second-degree murder of Nikosis Jace Cantre in July 2016.

Jennifer Peterson, provincial co-ordinator for the Intensive Rehabilitative Custody and Supervision program, testified today that a psychologist was concerned the teen was “borderline” functional.

Peterson also said the girl has been diagnosed with conduct disorder, a condition with a pattern of violating other people’s rights and social norms.

Peterson said the psychologist was uncertain whether the teen could be helped by the rehabilitative program, because she needs life-long treatment which the program can’t provide.

An adult second-degree murder sentence is life in prison with no chance of parole for at least 10 years, while a youth sentence is four years in custody and three years of probation.

Joan Whitton-Williams, programs director at Paul Dojack Youth Centre in Regina, outlined programs and workshops the teen would be part of detailed what her living conditions would be like.

The youth centre is the only facility in the province that houses teenage girls serving youth prison sentences.

The teen has been at the Paul Dojack centre while her case works through the court system.

Whitton-Williams said their interactions have been positive.

She noted the teen has shown interest in being involved with Christmas projects, although there has been some “immature” behaviour.

Whitton-Williams said if the teen were to serve her sentence as a youth, she would be able to stay at Paul Dojack until she turned 20.

She would live in a unit with four to seven other girls, while being supervised by two staff members at all times.

The teen would have a private room and have access to a common area with a ping-pong table and television.

If she were to exhibit violent behaviour, the teen would be placed in a “stabilization” cell similar to solitary confinement, Whitton-Williams said. The cell has a toilet and a food slot for meal times.

Most teens only have to stay in a stabilization cell for a few hours, Whitton-Williams said, but some who can’t reintegrate have stayed for up to two years.

(CKOM)