Jordan Nande and Lisa Brule pleaded guilty Monday to the uncommon charge of accessory after the fact in connection with the death of 22-year-old Breanna Menacho.
Under the Criminal Code of Canada, accessory after the fact to an offence involves knowing that a person has committed a crime and “enabling” them to escape.
Brule, 21, and Nande, 25, admitted to assisting Devon Larabie, 27, who is accused of murder. Charges against Larabie have not been proven in court.
A publication ban prevents NNSL Media from disclosing the facts of the incident as they could interfere with Larabie’s right to a fair trial.
CBC North has contested the publication ban and will appear in court Wednesday to make its arguments.
Defence lawyers Jay Bran and Peter Hart, representing Nande and Brule, respectively, supported Crown prosecutor Blair MacPherson in his submission that the offenders should be sentenced to nine to 12 months for their involvement in a crime relating to Menacho’s death.
If Justice Karan Shaner accepts the joint position, the sentence will mean both offenders will be released with time served or may have a short period of incarceration remaining. The court heard that Nande hopes to return to Fort Liard upon release. Brule was living in Yellowknife before her arrest.
Menacho’s body was found on May 6, 2020 in a residence in Yellowknife’s Lanky Court after she was reported missing to police. Larabie was charged with murder on May 8, and Nande and Brule were charged with being accessory after the fact on May 13. They have remained in custody since then.
Larabie was out on bail on armed robbery charges on the night of Menacho’s death.
Shaner is expected to deliver her decision on Wednesday afternoon.
After nearly 40 minutes of technical difficulties, Shaner opened Monday’s hearing by lamenting the equipment provided as “wholy substandard,” “antiquated,” and “unreliable.”
She said the public, the media and the two offenders should know the reason for the delay.
“For one reason or another, the government does not see fit to provide us with adequate technology,” the judge said.