Nunatsiaq Online
NEWS: Nunavut June 20, 2017 - 8:00 am

Man accused of taking child hostage back in Nunavut court

Crown lawyers expect Salamonie Shaa to enter a plea in August

STEVE DUCHARME
Salamonie Shaa is accused of being armed and holding his girlfriend's four-year-old child hostage inside a home in April 2016. He is expected back in court in August to make a plea in the case. (FILE PHOTO)
Salamonie Shaa is accused of being armed and holding his girlfriend's four-year-old child hostage inside a home in April 2016. He is expected back in court in August to make a plea in the case. (FILE PHOTO)

A Cape Dorset man arrested last year for allegedly holding a four-year-old child hostage with a meat cleaver before attacking a police officer is expected to enter a plea for sentencing this August, according to crown lawyers June 19 at the Nunavut Court of Justice in Iqaluit.

Salamonie Shaa, 23, faces nine charges related to the incident, including attempted murder, hostage taking, assault with a weapon, uttering threats and resisting arrest, following a five-hour standoff with police where he was eventually disarmed and arrested, April 20, 2016.

Crown prosecutor Barry McLaren told Nunavut Justice Bonnie Tulloch that discussions between his office and Shaa’s lawyers had been ongoing for “some time.”

“The next stage will be the entry of a plea, and then we expect that facts will be put before judge and materials filed in relation to sentence,” McLaren said, adding that the Crown does not expect a sentence to be delivered on the same day.

Tulloch set Shaa’s plea and sentencing submissions for the morning of Aug. 16.

Shaa, who has remained in custody since his arrest, appeared in person for the day’s proceedings wearing a blue prisoner tracksuit but remained silent as lawyers settled on a date for his plea.

“Mr. Shaa, you’re going to come back in August and we’re going to try and get this matter dealt with,” Tulloch told Shaa before he was returned to the court’s holding cells.

According to a police media release at the time of Shaa’s arrest, members of the Cape Dorset RCMP detachment responded to a report of a man making threats against his girlfriend’s four-year-old child at about 8 p.m., April 20, 2016.

When police arrived at a residence, the man threatened to kill the child if police intervened.

“The subject had a large knife and was threatening the life of the child,” the RCMP said in a statement, April 22, 2016.

The man barricaded himself within the house and refused to turn the child over to police and family members.

Police negotiated with the man for five hours but he refused to co-operate.

Worried about the child’s safety, police entered the house and, after an altercation, disarmed the man and arrested him.

Shaa faces nine charges in total related to his arrest, including:

• attempted murder;

• hostage taking;

• assault with a weapon;

• assault with a weapon on a police officer;

• resisting arrest;

• two counts of uttering threats; and,

• two counts of failure to comply with a probation order.

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