Marlene Pagee sentenced for role in death of RCMP Const. Shelby Patton

Brandon Harder/Regina Leader-Post A portrait of RCMP Const. Shelby Patton, who died while on duty, is seen at RCMP 'F' Division headquarters in Regina on June 12, 2021.

Brandon Harder

Regina Leader-Post

Marlene Velma Louise Pagee received a sentence of 821 days for her role in the events surrounding the death of RCMP Const. Shelby Patton, who was run over after stopping a stolen vehicle in a town roughly 100 kilometres east of Regina.

That sentence, handed down by Regina Provincial Court Judge James Rybchuk on Monday afternoon, was effectively a time-served sentence based on the amount of time Pagee, 45, has spent on remand since she was arrested June 12, 2021.

While the judge’s acceptance of a joint submission from both Crown and defence facilitated Pagee’s release, with no probation imposed, she will still be subject to probation until June in relation to a Manitoba matter.

The overall sentence followed guilty pleas from Pagee to four charges, including accessory after the fact to manslaughter, possession of a stolen vehicle (a Ford truck), theft of a motor vehicle (a Chevrolet truck) and being at large on an undertaking.

She is the second person to be sentenced in relation to the death, with Alphonse Stanley Traverse, who was driving the truck that ran over the officer, having already received an 18-year sentence after pleading guilty to manslaughter.

Rybchuk echoed defence lawyer Thomas Hynes in calling Traverse the “operating mind” in relation to the homicide.

However, the judge did not minimize Pagee’s role in the offence, which prosecutor Adam Breker outlined for the court in reading the facts of the case.

Pagee and Traverse, then romantically involved, took a drug-fuelled trip from Winnipeg to Saskatchewan to play VLTs — bars were shut down in Manitoba due to the COVID-19 pandemic. They stole a truck in Manitoba, which was fitted with GPS tracking technology. When they reached Wolseley on the morning of June 12, 2022, they stopped to wait for the bar to open.

Patton was dispatched and attended alone. He was run over by the truck when Traverse decided to flee.

The pair stole yet another truck, which Traverse drove. He was followed by Pagee, who was then driving the truck they’d originally stolen. However, the owner of the truck that Traverse had just taken gave chase and called 911. Traverse abandoned the recently-stolen truck and got back in with Pagee. When they got stuck in mud, they fled on foot, only to be arrested shortly later.

Pagee cooperated with police and admitted her involvement. She would go on to testify at a preliminary inquiry held regarding the charges against Traverse, who would eventually plead guilty to manslaughter before he went to trial.

Hynes told court his client is a mother of five who has been subjected to abuse — emotionally, physically and sexually — in various relationships. She has struggled with drug use for at least 15 years, according to Hynes, who told court his client had “spiralled” when she and Traverse took their trip.

Both lawyers spoke of an angry Traverse threatening Pagee that he would put the incident “all on her” after the officer had been struck.

Rybchuk considered the submission that Pagee had suggested, to no avail, that Traverse stop after the officer was down. He also considered her cooperation, but made it clear she had contributed to bringing about the “dangerous situation” that resulted in Patton’s death.

The judge paused frequently in giving his remarks, and sometimes would shake his head, as he contemplated what he would say next.

Hynes outlined how, while in custody, Pagee had nearly lost a child to overdose, which she said had helped her gain insight into the “devastation” that even the thought of losing a child could bring about.

Rybchuk considered this.

“I can’t help but feel that’s not the same thing,” he said, adding that she would leave custody and be able to see her children, unlike Patton’s parents.

Having read some 21 victim impact statements ahead of the sentencing, the judge spoke of the “profound loss” that Patton’s death represented. In echoing the judge who sentenced Traverse, Rybchuk said he hopes those affected by the death will eventually be able to find some peace.

Hynes said Pagee plans to check into a sober living facility following her release.