Winnipeg Man Pleads Guilty to Manslaughter of Saskatchewan Police Officer in Stolen Vehicle Case

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In a solemn Regina courtroom, Alphonse Stanley Traverse, 43, of Winnipeg, admitted guilt to charges of manslaughter and motor vehicle theft linked to the June 12th, 2021 killing of Saskatchewan police officer, Constable Shelby Patton. Traverse was initially arrested on charges of manslaughter, but after initial proceedings, the court raised the indictment to first-degree murder.

In an unexpected move during his court hearing on Wednesday, Traverse pled guilty to the less severe charge before the presiding judge of Regina Court of King’s Bench. Constable Patton’s death took place amidst a traffic operation in Wolseley wherein the law enforcement officer was lethally struck by the stolen truck conducted by Traverse.

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Wednesday’s hearing unveiled the circumstances leading to Constable Patton’s untimely death. Traverse, accompanied by a woman and in direct violation of a restriction order confining him to his home province, embarked on a journey from Winnipeg to Saskatchewan purportedly to partake in video lottery terminal (VLT) gambling. At the period in question, Manitoba had shut down VLT operations due to the pandemic, prompting the duo’s risky excursion.

Their journey, initially in a green truck, detoured to Pipestone, Manitoba, where they stole a vehicle from a local business, ensuring their ability to attain their destination. Upon arriving in Wolseley around 6:30 am on the fateful day, news of the stolen vehicle spread. Constable Patton was notified and guided to the town by a 7:12 am RCMP dispatch call.

Footage provided by the dashboard camera from Patton’s police vehicle displayed the ensuing details. Constable Patton located the stolen vehicle around 8 am and instigated a traffic stop near the crossroad of Sherbrook and Front Street. After dishonestly claiming he was an employee of the business from which the truck was stolen, Traverse, upon the officer’s request, attempted to flee rather than vacate the vehicle.

The footage grievously documented Constable Patton’s attempt to halt Traverse’s escape by gripping onto the truck’s sidestep. The officer was thrown and subsequently run over by the rear wheel as the vehicle swerved onto Front Street. Responding paramedics pronounced Constable Patton dead at the scene.

Within two hours of the incident and already miles from the scene, RCMP apprehended Traverse and his female accomplice near Francis, Saskatchewan. Emotional distress was palpable in the courtroom as Constable Patton’s family bore witness to the crime’s aftermath and the camera footage of their loved one’s tragic end.

Despite Traverse’s guilt admittance, Melanie Patton, mother of the deceased Constable, voiced her enduring pain and the profound trauma inflicted upon her family. She underlined the enormous toll of the incident, the healing for which, she admitted, seems an uphill struggle.

Traverse awaits his sentencing, scheduled for February 29, 2024. Traverse’s accomplice, Marlene Velma Louise Pagee, initially prosecuted for manslaughter, now stands accused as an accessory after the murder. Her case continues to be under judicial review.