November 25, 2015 11:21 pm
Updated: November 26, 2015 5:43 pm

Derek Saretzky mentally fit to stand trial; next court date in February

WATCH ABOVE: A Lethbridge court has found Derek Saretzky fit to stand trial for the murders of two-year-old Hailey Dunbar-Blanchette and her father Terry Blanchette. Global’s Quinn Campbell reports.


A Lethbridge court has decided Derek Saretzky is mentally fit to stand trial on two counts of first-degree murder.

Saretzky was returned to the Southern Alberta Forensic Psychiatry Centre after being taken to the emergency room at Foothills Hospital in Calgary Wednesday.

He had been undergoing a psychiatric evaluation at the centre in northwest Calgary before he was taken to hospital for treatment just before 6 p.m.

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Sources tell Global News Saretzky was on a hunger strike, refusing to eat for five days, which led to the hospitalization as a precaution.

Although RCMP confirmed with Global News that Saretzky has been cleared to stand trial, nothing regarding the results of his psychiatric assessment was addressed in court Thursday morning, where Saretzky appeared via CCTV.

In September, Saretzky was hospitalized in Lethbridge following a suicide attempt. He was by himself in the shower when he attempted suicide. He was found in medical distress by guards, and transported to Chinook Regional Hospital in Lethbridge for medical treatment.

READ MORE: Derek Saretzky out of medically-induced coma after suicide attempt

Saretzky is charged with two counts of first-degree murder in the deaths of Hailey Dunbar-Blanchette and her father, Terry Blanchette.

Blanchette, 27, was found dead inside his Blairmore home in September.

His two-year-old daughter, Hailey, was taken, prompting an Amber Alert.

Her remains were later found in a rural area outside of Blairmore.

TIMELINE: Abduction and murder of Hailey Dunbar-Blanchette and Terry Blanchette

Earlier this year, Saretzky was ordered to undergo a 30-day psychiatric assessment, which was then extended another 30 days.

Saretzky’s next court date is Feb. 26.

With files from Global News

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