Hay River manslaughter sentencing delayed

A Facebook profile photo of Sasha Cayen. Facebook photo
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Sasha Cayen won’t be sentenced for her involvement in the death of 25-year-old Alex Norwegian until next Friday.

Cayen has pled guilty to manslaughter and Friday the court heard the Crown’s request for a four-year sentence. Cayen’s defence attorney is asking for this sentence to be ‘tweaked’ down to 42 months, some of which would be served as probation, in order for Cayen to be able to stay in the territory during her incarceration. Inmates have to leave the territory and serve in federal penitentiaries if their sentence is longer than two years.

Norwegian was robbed, beaten and left in the cold on the evening of Boxing Day 2017 on the K’atl’odeeche First Nation. Four people are charged in connection with his murder, all are related: Levi Cayen, Sasha Cayen, Tyler Cayen and James Thomas.

According to a statement of facts presented in Tyler Cayen’s sentencing Thursday, the four had been at Thomas’ house that evening. Thomas and Sasha Cayen went out once to purchase crack cocaine from Norwegian and later in the evening helped Norwegian when his car got stuck.

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Later in the evening Thomas and Levi Cayen decided to rob Norwegian. Sasha Cayen helped set up the robbery by texting Norwegian to set up another crack purchase.

Armed with balaclavas and a small bat, Thomas and Levi Cayen allegedly beat him and left him in his black sedan during a winter night with temperatures hovering from minus 29 to minus 33 Celsius with windchill.

Norwegian’s body wasn’t found until the morning of December 28. An autopsy confirmed his cause of death was hypothermia, with blunt force head injuries significantly contributing to his death.

Friday morning the court heard victim impact statements from Norwegian’s family and close friends, statements they had to give a second time after first delivering them Thursday during the sentencing of co-accused Tyler Cayen. He received two years less a day for accessory after the fact to manslaughter.


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Norwegian’s aunt and godmother Annie Steen says a light sentence for those charged in his murder would not help the community.

“We need justice for Hay River,” she says, adding a ‘slap on the wrist’ will not achieve this.


Of the four charged, only Tyler Cayen has been sentenced. Sasha Cayen’s sentencing has been postponed until Friday, January 25th at 1:30 p.m. Levi Cayen and James Thomas will both be tried for first-degree murder, Crown says they expect these trials to begin next year.

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