Witness testifies in Fort Resolution murder trial

A photo of the scene of the crime from an incident that left a 27-year-old man dead in Fort Resolution on July 1, 2018. (Photo courtesy of Yellowknife Courthouse)

Warning: This story reports details of an alleged murder.

The accused’s past with the victim was discussed in day two of the Fort Resolution murder trial.

Chad Beck is facing a second degree murder charge from an incident on July 1, 2018 in Fort Resolution, where he killed 27-year-old Cameron Sayine with an axe. 

Three witnesses were questioned before the court on Tuesday, the first being RCMP Cnst. Justin Helm who was a first responder to the altercation.

Instead of questioning Helm, Beck’s defence provided a statement of agreed upon facts that described Helm’s previous interactions with Sayine.

Statement of facts

The court document describes a couple interactions between Sayine and Beck in the days leading up to the 2018 Canada Day altercation.

On June 8, Sayine and Beck were fighting while intoxicated, there were no injuries and Beck did not provide a statement to the RCMP.

On June 11, 2018 Sayine attended Beck’s residence with a friend, Frank Pierrot, who punched Beck in the nose, causing him to bleed. Pierrot was charged and convicted of assault — Sayine was not charged.

The weapon in question

The other two witnesses were James Larocque, whose home is where the incident took place, and his son Jason Larocque, who witnessed it.

Both men testified through CCTV on Oct. 20. 

James, who is Beck’s uncle, was questioned about the axe used in the attack. James described it as a small metal axe, with a rubber handle, primarily utilized for cutting kindling.

Beck’s lawyer, Peter Harte, questioned whether the weapon would be classified as an axe or a hatchet.

James said he has not seen the tool since June 30, 2018, but conceded it may be classified as a hatchet.

July 1, 2018

The incident took place at James’s house, when Jason asked if he and his friends — including Sayine — could drink at his property that day.

James says he never had any issues with Sayine.

“He had respect for me, we got along okay, no problems,” he said. 

James said he picked the group up from Beck’s house and dropped them off at his home around 6 p.m., before driving around for the evening. He says Beck was not with the others at this time.

Jason’s testimony of what happened before the incident differed slightly from his father’s, however he disclosed early in the testimony that on that day, he had been drinking since June 30, 2018 and continued the following morning.

The group then spent the day of July 1, 2018 drinking at James’s house.

Jason said he “passed out” on his father’s couch from the alcohol and was woken up by Sayine, who was sitting beside Beck on a loveseat.

Jason said Beck’s face was bloody; court documents allege this was from an altercation with Sayine. However, Jason said he did not see this altercation.

Jason said Beck looked as though he was about to “pass out,” but couldn’t say if it was from the alcohol or the injury he had sustained.

Jason said Beck then stood up, walked out of the house, and returned with the axe, which he swung, striking Sayine in the head and again in the back.

Jason said he then grabbed Beck to stop him from continuing his assault.

“I said ‘What’s wrong with you?’ ” Jason told the court.

Jason said he remembered Beck saying Sayine is “not going to mess with our family anymore.”

Jason said he collected another friend in a different area of the property and the two immediately left the premises.

He said he phoned James to tell him about the incident and asked to be picked up.

James said he received the call and immediately began driving back to the house.

“Thank god we were still within cell range,” he said.

When James arrived at the house, Jason and his friend immediately ran into the car. James said he then saw Beck walk out the front door of the house.

James said he walked up to Beck and noticed blood on him. He said he grabbed his nephew by the upper arms and sat him on a swing chair in front of the house. He said Beck did not resist and appeared to be in a state of shock.

James said he then looked inside to discover blood smeared all over the floor and no sign of Sayine.

James said he then drove to find the RCMP to report the incident.

Helm said in testimony the previous day that Beck was still sitting in the swing chair when he arrived.

Police testimony

Jason said Beck and Sayine were friends before the altercation and he had never seen them fight previously.

However, Jason provided testimony to the police the day after the incident — the recording was played before the court and in it, Jason gave a different picture of the relationship between the two.

Jason said he had still been drinking at the time of this testimony on July 2, 2018 and did not recall what he had said.

In the recording, Jason can be heard alluding to previous altercations between the two.

He said he’d heard that Beck and Sayine had fought a few days before the incident.

In the recording, Jason can be heard saying that he was preparing to fight Sayine when he was awoken on July 1, 2018, moments before Beck swung the axe.

The trial will continue on Oct. 21.

About the Author

Luke Carroll
Luke Carroll is a journalist originally from Brockville, Ont. He has previously worked as a reporter and editor in Ottawa, Halifax and New Brunswick. Luke is a graduate of Carleton University's bachelor of journalism program. If you have a story idea, feel free to send him an email at luke.carroll@cklbradio.com