People gathered outside the Edmonton courthouse Tuesday seeking justice for a teenage girl who was killed two years ago, as the female youth accused of her death entered a guilty plea for manslaughter.
The now 16-year-old girl pleaded guilty Tuesday to the 2020 death of 13-year-old Sierra Bailey Rain Chalifoux Thompson.
The youth, who cannot be named due to the Youth Criminal Justice Act, was originally charged with second-degree murder for the assault of Chalifoux Thompson that led to her death.
A Gladue report has been completed and a second report for psychological assessment is being conducted. The offender will go to the Edmonton Youth Offender Centre, where she will stay until her sentencing in April 2023.
The assault happened just over two years ago on Oct. 2, 2020, around 11 p.m. in the area of 75 Street and Mount Lawn Road in the Eastwood neighbourhood, police said at the time.
On the night of the assault, the offender and two friends shared a bottle of vodka and used meth. The accused told the boy and Chalifoux Thompson to meet her at the Sands Hotel. The offender brought a knife, which she used to assault Chalifoux Thompson. The fight was over who was dating the male youth involved, as he had ended a relationship with one and started dating the other, according to court records.
Chalifoux Thompson was stabbed in the abdomen and taken to hospital where she later died from her injuries.
The offender took to social media in the aftermath and admitted to the stabbing, according to an agreed statement of facts.
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Chalifoux Thompson, who lived with her mother, stepfather and siblings, is remembered as a brave and loving girl.
Angela Chalifoux, Sierra’s mother, was on the courthouse steps on Tuesday, seeking justice for her daughter.
She said she is “very, very angry and disappointed with the justice system” that the accused is pleading guilty to manslaughter, which is a lesser charge than the original charge of second-degree murder.
Chalifoux said she was told the charge was changed due to “lack of evidence” and that it is now a plea deal.
“I lost everything,” Chalifoux said of the past two years. “Grief has struck me so hard. There’s not even words that can describe. … Some days I just can’t even get out of bed, some days it’s like a dream.”
Through tears ,she described her daughter as a big part of their family, and “it’s just been hell without her.” Sierra was always protective of her siblings and would always stand up for them, she said.
— With files from Sarah Ryan, Global News