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90 days' jail for drunken joy ride

John McFadden
Northern News Services
Wednesday, March 15, 2017

SOMBA K'E/YELLOWKNIFE
A 26-year-old man, originally from Fort Good Hope, was sentenced to 90 days in jail and given a four-year driving prohibition last week after pleading guilty to stealing a car on Gitzel Street and crashing it at the boat launch in Old Town.

Myrine Kakfwi was handed his punishment by Judge Bernadette Schmaltz in territorial court March 6.

Court heard that on Jan. 26, 2016, a woman started her vehicle outside her Gitzel Street home at about 8:30 a.m. When she came back outside about 10 minutes later the vehicle was gone. Court heard the car was driven to the boat launch in Old Town where it crashed, causing $1,460 in damage. After the vehicle was found it was discovered the driver's side window had been smashed out. When Kakfwi was arrested shortly after the crash, RCMP noticed he had a small cut on his hand. DNA evidence linked Kakfwi to the smashed car window, court heard.

His lawyer Peter Harte told the judge his client was intoxicated at the time and doesn't remember taking the vehicle.

Then on March 10 of last year, Kakfwi was pulled over by RCMP at the intersection of Franklin Avenue and 53 Street while driving a pick-up truck. At that time it was discovered he had received a three-year driving prohibition in April 2015.

Kakfwi was out on bail on Feb. 21 with conditions that included he abstain from alcohol when he was arrested by RCMP in Hay River. Court heard that he had a bottle of liquor in his possession and was staggering down the middle of a road while yelling.

Before sentencing, Kakfwi's lawyer Peter Harte told the judge that Kakfwi, the father of three sons, has dealt with tremendous trauma recently, including the murder of his childhood friend Charlotte Lafferty in Fort Good Hope. Harte said Kakfwi also had to deal with several suicides among relatives and friends.

Before sentencing, Kakfwi apologized to the court and the woman he stole the car from.

"I made poor choices and I accept responsibility for them," Kakfwi said. "Being drunk is no excuse and I accept whatever sentence is imposed upon me."

Before sentencing, Schmaltz noted that Kakfwi had a "terrible" criminal record, including numerous convictions for driving while disqualified and property offences.

"Mr. Kakfwi, I would have hoped that by now you would have outgrown these types of behaviours," the judge said.

The 90-day-sentence was imposed after Kakfwi pleaded guilty to all three charges theft, driving while prohibited and breaching his bail conditions.

Kakfwi is still before the courts on a sexual assault charge from an incident on Dec. 2 of last year in Fort Smith. A preliminary hearing on that charge is scheduled for May 9 in Fort Smith. There is a ban on publication of evidence from that charge.

Convicted robber to challenge jury verdict

A woman convicted of robbery last month in NWT Supreme Court for her role in the mugging of a cab driver in Old Town two years ago is expected to ask for her case to be re-opened.

Karma Eeyeevadluk, 20, has been in custody since a jury found her guilty on Feb. 2. Jurors heard she got out of a cab, opened the driver's side door and took $50 from the taxi driver's top pocket as he was being beaten by two other passengers. One of the cabbie's attackers was accused murderer Denecho King, 24, who choked the cabbie from the back seat while his brother Bradley King, 22, was punching him in the face. Both of them had already pleaded guilty to assault causing bodily harm for the attack. Denecho King remains in custody, charged with murder and attempted murder after an attack on two men in a downtown apartment in December 2014.

According to Eeyeevadluk's new lawyer, Edmonton-based Steven Fix, she had initially said she did not want to testify at her trial but changed her mind before the trial ended. She was apparently told, although it is not clear by whom, that it was too late for her to testify. Eeyeevadluk's lawyer at her trial was Tu Pham.

Supreme Court Judge Shannon Smallwood is expected to hear submissions on a mistrial application from Fix on April 10.

Bride-to-be back in jail

A woman who graced the front page of Yellowknifer, March 1 after her fiance proposed to her following her release from jail is back behind bars.

Katie Inuktalik was allegedly found intoxicated by RCMP outside her residence Thursday.

She had been under house arrest, part of a conditional sentence, that also ordered her to abstain from alcohol.

In imposing the sentence Feb. 24, Judge Bernadette Schmaltz warned Inuktalik if she breached her conditions she would go back to jail. Inuktalik's fiancee, James Picard, 34, said the engagement is still on.

"I don't care, we're still getting married," Picard told Yellowknifer outside of court Monday. He had told the judge the day Inuktalik was released that she would be able to serve her house arrest at his home.

Inuktalik was subsequently taken into custody and appeared in court Friday. She was then transferred to the Fort Smith Correctional Complex and was scheduled to appear in court in Fort Smith yesterday.

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