Verdict of first-degree murder in death of northern Alberta teen Roderica Ribbonleg

WARNING: THE DETAILS OF THIS STORY ARE DISTURBING" style="position:absolute;width:1px;height:1px" referrerpolicy="no-referrer-when-downgrade"/>

a judge in peace river Northern Alberta man has been found Jason Alec Tallacre guilty of first-degree murderSexual interference, and interference with the body in the death of a teenage girl.

roderica ribbonleg Last seen on Jul 5, 2020 in close John D’Or Prairie A remote First Nations settlement that is part of the Little Red River Cree Nation, about 700 km north of Edmonton.

The court heard that the 15-year-old girl stopped picking up calls and did not come home saying she was visiting some friends.

Ribbonlegs was described as outgoing and artsy. When she graduated she had dreams of going to college or university – but that future was taken away from her.

Story continues below Advertisement

Read more:

‘A child at heart’: Cousin says 15-year-old murder victim Roderica Ribbonleg stole her future

Ribbonleg was last seen alive on July 5, sleeping in a hut on a First Nation with no internet or phone service.

During the trial, several people testified that they had seen Ribbonleg in the outbuilding, after he had left, after a man texted him: “Did you make it home?”

Kishore did not. She disappeared and was reported missing a few days later and all activities of the cell stopped.

An undated photo of Roderica Ribbonleg.

Courtesy Tracey D’Or

A week after he was last seen alive, an organized search party found his cell phone not far from the hut.

The court heard that investigative members saw the crows circling, and followed them to a quadrangular trail a few kilometers away.

Story continues below Advertisement

That’s when search members found Ribbonleg’s body in a shallow grave in a ditch and called the RCMP to secure the scene.

Birds were pecking at the badly beaten body of the teenager. The court heard that his clothes were tattered.

An autopsy found that she had been strangled—possibly with her own bra strap—and had suffered blunt force trauma to her head.

There was evidence to suggest sexual assault.

A man’s DNA was found inside the woman’s vagina and anus. Investigators eventually linked that DNA sample to Jason Alec Tallacre, who was 35 at the time and is now 37.

Read more:

Man charged with first-degree murder after killing 15-year-old in northern Alberta

It wasn’t the first time an Alberta man had been accused of killing and dumping a woman’s body in the woods.

In 2014, Talacre was charged with second-degree murder and interference with an autopsy in the death of his common-law wife, a mother of three named Malena Lonskin.

But a year later, those charges were stayed.

A spokesperson for Alberta Justice said at the time, the Alberta Crown Prosecution Service determined there was no longer a reasonable likelihood of conviction in the Lonskin case.

Story continues below Advertisement

Malena Lunskin, 26, was found dead near her home in John D’Or Prairie, AB.

Supply: RCMP

In Ribbonleg’s case, there was no proverbial smoking gun.

Instead, it was the circumstantial evidence when taken all together that led Justice Wayne Renke of the King’s Bench to his guilty verdicts two and a half years later in a Peace River courtroom.

The court heard that when the RCMP asked Tallacree about Ribbonleg, he said he had not heard of him – something the judge determined to be a lie.

Talacre was on the property where the teenage girl was last seen sleeping.

The judge ruled that Jason Alec Tallacre had sexually interfered with her when she murdered Ribbonlegs, and then interred with her by burying her body.

Read more:

Keeping the home fires burning: a 127km walk to justice for Roderica Ribbonleg in John d’Or Prairie

Story continues below Advertisement

It was standing room only as dozens of supporters of both Ribbonleg and Lonskin, many dressed in red, packed the small courtroom on Tuesday.

Together, three months after Ribbonleg’s death, they walked 127 kilometers from John d’Or Prairie to High Level, so that Tallacree could see their faces in previous court appearances.

Click to play video: '127 km justice march for homicide victim Roderica Ribbon in northern Alberta'

127 kilometer justice march for lynching victim Roderica Ribbons in northern Alberta

They wept together when the verdict was announced on Tuesday.

Ribbonleg’s cousin, Tracey D’Or, explained “a lot of emotion”. “Mostly the excitement, the joy that we finally got the confidence we were hoping for.”

“Certainly looks like justice has been served. We’ve been waiting a long time.”

D’Or said the families have been supporting each other through the court process.

“A lot was raised for both the families. He has been with us the whole time… He got a moment of happiness too.

Story continues below Advertisement

She said it was very difficult to know how her younger cousin had died.

“I really didn’t want to know how she went. But today in court I heard about it – it was sad.”

First-degree murder comes with an automatic life sentence, with no chance of parole for 25 years. By then Talacre would be in his sixties.

An undated photo of John D'Or Prairie resident Jason Alec Tallacre.

An undated photo of John D’Or Prairie resident Jason Alec Tallacre.

supplied to Global News

His lawyer, Ajay Juneja explained, “After doing this for almost 20 years and being involved in over 45 murders, this is the first time I am involved in a case where the punishment is first degree murder “

“This is without question the most serious charge in the Criminal Code of Canada.”

Juneja said he was surprised by the judge’s decision.

Story continues below Advertisement

“Based on the evidence, I had every confidence that the accused would be found not guilty … The matter was entirely circumstantial.”

While Juneja had not had an opportunity to speak with his client before being interviewed by Global News, he said it is likely the matter will come back before the courts.

“I expect that given the seriousness of the allegation, he will most likely seek to appeal.”

The Ribbonleg family, Global News and Postmedia (The Edmonton Journal) challenged a publication ban requested by Crown prosecutor James Sava, which prevented Ribbonleg from being identified as a victim of sexual assault and because she was underage.

Ribbonleg’s mother told the court that she did not support the publication ban and it was later lifted. The rest of the family supported him.

“I want people to know about her, and what she endured,” D’Or explained.

No date has been set for the sentencing hearing – which will be set for April 24 – but victim impact statements will be presented at that time.

&copy 2023 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.