A 31-year-old woman has pleaded not guilty to a series of charges relating to suspicious packages that had Saskatoon emergency services scrambling last week.
Alexa Emerson, also known as Amanda May Totchek, faces 15 charges relating to the incidents on Nov. 29. The counts include mischief and uttering threats.
“To say she’s disputing the allegations would be an understatement – she’s shocked,” defence lawyer Brian Pfefferle said outside Saskatoon Provincial Court Tuesday.
Pfefferle said at this stage, the “only reasonable explanation” is that his client is being framed.
The accused entered the not guilty pleas during a Dec. 6 court appearance originally slated to be a bail hearing.
“At this time, we’re waiving her bail hearing and hoping to get early trial dates set,” Pfefferle said.
Additionally, Emerson will not undergo a psychiatric evaluation prior to trial.
Pfefferle noted he will be providing the Crown with information that could “potentially lead” to alibi evidence – including time frames to suggest Emerson “couldn’t possibly have been involved” in the incidents.
The defence is now hoping for a March date to begin the trial.
“We thought, given the circumstances for this, it was best for Ms. Emerson to remain in custody pending the trial,” Pfefferle said, adding his client is concerned about her safety.
The defence mentioned again that Emerson was already in custody last Tuesday, well before police started getting calls about the packages.
“(She’s) frankly shocked that she’s being implicated by the police in the case.”
Two other people were arrested in connection with the suspicious packages. They were released the next day without charge.
Police believe Emerson hired the pair to unwittingly deliver two of the five packages.
Pfefferle said she turned herself in to face charges of criminal harassment and mischief stemming from early October. She also pleaded not guilty to those counts on Tuesday.
Emerson’s alleged to have sent a video to several people depicting herself tied up and being abused, with the goal of pinning the crime on a local man.
In June 2015, Emerson appeared under the name Amanda Totchek and pleaded guilty to harassment, fraud and mischief.
Those charges stemmed from what police described as a years-long pattern of harassment against an ex-boyfriend.
Emerson admitted to sending threatening letters and messages to people and businesses around the province and signing them with her ex-boyfriend’s name.
She was also found to have used an email account in her ex’s name to send people pictures of naked children.
– With files from 650 CKOM reporter Bryn Levy.