Warning: This article contains graphic content.
A video showing a teenage girl confessing to the July 2016 killing of a six-week-old baby boy was played Tuesday as her sentencing hearing began in Saskatoon Provincial Court.
Gasps escaped from the gallery as the recording showed the girl, then 16, describing the night she murdered Nikosis Jace Cantre.
Judge Sanjeev Anand stopped the playback at several points to allow for breaks as court heard the details of the killing.
The video was recorded July 11, 2016, eight days after Cantre’s mother found her son severely injured in his. He would die later in hospital.
Cantre’s killer can’t be identified under the Youth Criminal Justice Act. She pleaded guilty to second-degree murder in October 2016. Tuesday’s hearing was meant to determine whether she will be sentenced as an adult.
Cantre’s family has called for an adult sentence.
Prior to the murder, the teen had been serving a 10-month sentence at the Kilburn Hall Youth Centre for a variety of offences, including assault causing bodily harm.
In the video, she told a Saskatoon police investigator she escaped the detention centre on the night of July 1, 2016 and wandered around downtown asking people for a place to stay.
At one point she said she smoked a joint with a boy she met, believing it to be marijuana. In the video, she said the drug tasted like medicinal pills. She said she then tried to sleep under some trees, but fled after a man attempted to sexually assault her.
Eventually she came across members of Cantre’s family, who gave her a ride to McDonald’s for some food and then brought her back to their home.
The girl told the officer she was given clothes, and began drinking with some members of the family.
The teen said she went into baby Cantre’s room in the early morning hours of July 3 because he was crying.
She described picking the baby up and holding him “like a mom,” and trying to bottlefeed him.
But then things turned violent.
The teen said she put the baby on the bed in the room, and began suffocating and punching him.
Many of Cantre’s family members fled the courtroom as the video played, with their anguished cries heard coming from the hallway.
In the middle of the description, Anand ordered the video to stop so people in the courtroom could take a few minutes to recover from what they just heard.
The teen, now 18, sat in the prisoner’s box with her head down and hands over her ears while the video played . She broke down into sobs multiple times.
When the video resumed, the investigator asked the girl why she did it.
“I didn’t meant to do it, I just did,” she answered.
But when she was asked a second time, she gave a more detailed answer.
“I took all my anger out on that baby,” she said.
“I was sick and tired of life. That’s why I hurt that baby and killed it.”
At the end of the recorded confession, the investigator asked the teen if she had anything to say to Cantre’s family.
“I’m sorry,” she said through tears. “I don’t know what I was thinking. I’m sorry.”
HISTORY OF VIOLENCE
The video also provided more insight into the girl’s past.
She told the investigator she didn’t know her biological parents, and her adoptive parents had died. She said had been in trouble with the law since she was 11, spending time in group homes and youth detention.
The teen also described abusing animals and getting into fist fights with her niece over toys because she was jealous.
She said the animal abuse didn’t happen often, but the fights with her niece did.
The sentencing hearing is set to continue next week, when the Crown will present the results of psychological tests conducted on the teen after she was taken into custody.