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Crown asks for 8 year sentence in Castlegar teen stabbing case

Sasha Prokaski pleaded guilty to the charges earlier this year
A sentencing hearing for Sasha Prokaski was held in Castlegar on Nov. 23. File photo

Crown counsel has asked for a six-to-eight-year sentence for the woman who walked into a Castlegar home and stabbed two teens who had been sleeping on couches inside.

Sasha Prokaski, 29, entered a home where the two teenagers were in the early morning hours of Feb. 21, 2021. An altercation ensued with both teens being stabbed, and one of the pair receiving multiple serious stab wounds. Prokaski and the victims, who are protected under a publication ban, did not know each other.

Prokaski was originally charged with two counts of attempt to commit murder, two counts of uttering threats and one count of break and enter but in May pleaded guilty to two lesser counts that included aggravated assault and assault with a weapon.

A sentencing hearing for Prokaski was held in Castlegar Provincial Court on Nov. 23. Prokaski is currently in custody and appeared via video as did her lawyer, Blair Suffredine.

Both victims and about a dozen friends and family members attended the hearing in person.

Victim impact statements were read by one of the victims, her mother and her grandmother. Crown counsel Rebecca Smyth read statements from the other victim and her father.

During the proceedings Smyth chronicled the events of the night the crime took place.

Prokaski began showing signs of aggression at The Way Out Shelter, where she was staying at the time. Shelter employees heard Prokaski making statements about the world ending, that she was going to die, and was behaving in an agitated manner. Prokaski then tried to access the shelter’s knives.

Shelter employees asked her if she would be willing to go to the hospital and when she agreed, they called an ambulance. But Prokaski left the shelter before the ambulance arrived and began knocking on doors at a nearby senior’s apartment building.

After no one answered the doors, Prokaski then moved down the block to a set of townhouses. She found an unlocked door at the home where the two victims were sleeping on couches in the living room.

Once inside, Prokaski began ranting about people knowing too much, that she needed to kill herself and that the teens needed to kill themselves.

Prokaski then stabbed one of the victims in the chest, but the knife hit the underwire of the victim’s bra instead of flesh and the victim was able to escape out of the house and went to seek help.

The second victim was also able to get out of the house, but Prokaski knocked her down and got on top of her. She held the knife over her head in both hands saying, “Die, die, die.”

The victim fought back, but received stab wounds on her neck, face and hands before kicking Prokaski off. At some point in the altercation, she was also stabbed in her shoulder, forearm and near her ninth rib.

The victim found a small opening in a fence surrounding the property and began to squeeze through, but Prokaski stabbed her repeatedly in her leg as she tried to escape.

Ambulance attendants arrived on the scene shortly after and found the victim sitting in a visible pool of blood. They transported her to hospital.

The second victim’s wounds were significant, many required stitches, and a leg wound required surgery. One of the stab wounds in the leg severed a nerve, leaving the victim with a permanent disability. Before the attack the teen was a competitive gymnast, but the injuries have left her with mobility issues and no hopes of rejoining the sport.

Police found Prokaski near Kinsmen Park, about a block from were the attack took place, with the knife and clothing hid under a nearby tree.

After Prokaski was arrested, she was sent to a hospital for treatment and once stabilized was sent to a rehabilitation facility.

Since the time of her arrest, Prokaski has been arrested for breaching her bail conditions on three separate occasions. On two occasions she left her treatment facility, contrary to conditions.

The most recent offence happened the day after she pleaded guilty to the assault charges. In that instance, Prokaski was breaking a requirement to stay at least 25 kilometres outside of Castlegar and had attempted to disable her monitoring device.

The repeated breeches of conditions, along with what Smyth alleged was “a lack of commitment to treatment” and the random, violent nature of the offence were the primary reasons Crown counsel cited for the length of the suggested sentence.

The defence had a far different sentence in mind. Suffredine asked for two years, including time served, and three years probation.

Prokaski has already spent 216 days in custody.

Judge Robert Brown is expected to make the sentencing decision on Dec. 13.

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Betsy Kline

About the Author: Betsy Kline

After spending several years as a freelance writer for the Castlegar News, Betsy joined the editorial staff as a reporter in March of 2015. In 2020, she moved into the editor's position.
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