UPDATE Thursday, April 4, 2024 3:15 PM

Day four of testimony is being heard today at Court of Kings Bench in Prince Albert for a Black Lake manslaughter trial.

Today was an anticipated day for the trial with a tense feeling in the room as everyone waited to hear the coroner’s response to the question of Arley Cook’s cause of death.

On day two, main witness Rodney Broussie testified that he was drinking whiskey with Jerrick Stalthanee and Cook the night of the incident.

Broussie stated that he passed out in his chair at Stalthanee’s house that evening and woke up to the sound of Stalthanee hitting Cook on the head with an unknown object he described as sounding like a frying pan hitting something very hard.

Today, Dr. Derek Musgrove, who is a forensic pathologist with the Saskatchewan Coroner’s Office, entered the courtroom via web meeting.

Dr. Musgrove went through several photos from Cook’s report of the autopsy, which he conducted. He stated that Cook had suffered multiple fractures to his head, including a depressed skull fracture.

A depressed skull fracture is typically caused by a large force being applied to a small area.

Stalthanee’s defense lawyer asked Dr. Musgrove if a depressed skull fracture could be caused by falling down a set of stairs or by someone falling on top of another person to which Dr. Musgrove replied, “that would be very unlikely,”.

Dr. Musgrove also noted that during the autopsy he found bruising on Cook’s left cheek and an abrasion on his cheek. He also found a hemorrhage under his scalp.

Dr. Musgrove testified that the toxicology report showed there was alcohol in Cook’s system, but that it wouldn’t have contributed to his death and that even if he had other drugs in his system the outcome wouldn’t be different.

After going through the photos, Dr. Musgrove stated that from the autopsy report he noted the cause of Cook’s death to be blunt force trauma.

The trial is adjourned until April 18.

UPDATE: Wed. April 3, 2024. 2:15 PM

Day three of testimony for the manslaughter trial of Jerrick Stalthanee is going on today in Prince Albert.

The feeling in the courtroom today was a sorrow one with family members of the victim Arley Cook in attendance trying to hold back their tears as gruesome photos of the crime scene were shown to the court.

Stalthanee was seated not showing much emotion while listening to proceedings with the help of a Dene interpreter.

Today, the court heard from Kelly Bates, a member of the Saskatoon RCMP’s Major Crimes Unit.

Bate’s was in Saskatoon when he got the call of a suspicious death in Black Lake. He then flew to that northern town to take on the role as the crime scene manager of the investigation.

Bate’s took the stand to go through photo’s that the RCMP’s forensic team took of the inside and outside of Cook’s house.

Several photos were shown of all the rooms in the house and the room where Cook was found deceased.

Images were shown of Cook laying on the floor of his room where he was found dead. He was covered in vomit with a hoodie only on his arms but not his body. He was wearing a hat which had blood on it and his face also had blood around his nose and mouth.

After Bates concluded testimony, retired RCMP officer with the Major Crimes Unit, Lindsay Wudrick took the stand.

Wudrick was still with the RCMP when he flew out to Black Lake to work on the investigation in December of 2021.

He confirmed that he gathered statements from members of the community on December 14, 2021. Wudrick said he got a statement from main witness, Rodney Broussie at his home that day at around 6 p.m. and said Broussie was very compliant while speaking with him.

Tomorrow Court of Kings Bench is set to hear from a forensic pathologist who will give their opinion on the cause of Cook’s death.



On December 14 of 2021 RCMP were called to the Black Lake Denesuline First Nation at approximately 9 AM after receiving a report of a death. When officers arrived, they found 27-year-old Arley Cook deceased at his home.

Officers considered Cook’s death a homicide and on December 16 arrested and charged Jerrick Stalthanee from Black Lake with one count of second-degree murder.

Today at Court of Kings Bench in Prince Albert Stalthanee is facing a manslaughter charge.

This morning the court heard from Rodney Broussie who testified he was with Cook and Stalthanee the day of the incident. Broussie said that on December 13 he and Cook were drinking whiskey at Cook’s uncles’ house in the afternoon.

Later that day, Broussie and Cook bought another bottle of whiskey and met Stalthanee in the downtown area of Black Lake and went to his house to drink the second bottle.

At Stalthanee’s house the three men drank in the porch and Broussie passed out sitting in his chair. Broussie alleged that he was woken up by a loud sound which he said sounded like a frying pan hitting something. He looked over to see Stalthanee hitting Cook on the head with an unknown object.

Broussie said he then pushed Stalthanee against a wall and Stalthanee attempted to hit him, but he blocked it. Stalthanee then went into the kitchen. Broussie said he helped Cook get up from the floor and they left the house.

As Broussie was helping Cook walk home he said he heard a skidoo behind them revving its engine. The skidoo attempted to hit the two men and Broussie pushed Cook out of the way into a snowbank. Broussie said he thought it was Stalthanee on the skidoo and that he believed he was trying to hit both him and Cook.

Broussie continued walking Cook to his home and after seeing Cook enter his house from the road he began walking to his own house.  

The next morning RCMP found Cook dead at his home.

The trial is set to go on for the rest of the week with both a forensic and neuropathologist expected to provide their own testimony in the coming days.