Braidy Chase Vermette. Photo courtesy Facebook.
The preliminary hearing for the second man accused in a Prince Albert murder has been bypassed and the case is now committed for trial by judge and jury.
Braidy Chase Vermette is charged with first-degree murder in the May 2015 shooting death of Troy Napope, 24. Vermette’s case is now being transferred to Prince Albert Court of Queen’s Bench in a process that will likely take several months before a pre-trial date is set.
Vermette has been a high-profile accused after escaping prison in dramatic fashion, and being recaptured by police in the RM of Buckland while the home he’d been hiding in burned to the ground.
Just last month, Skylar Patrick Bird entered a plea and received a life sentence with no chance of parole of 10 years for second-degree murder in Napope’s death.
At Bird’s sentencing, Crown prosecutor John Morrall detailed much of his office’s case against Vermette, saying he was the man directing the shooting death. The allegations against Vermette have not been proven before the courts.
In the agreed statement of facts for Bird, court heard Bird shot Napope multiple times even after he was shot in the leg and head – allegedly by Vermette.
Morrall alleges money from drug dealing was a motivating factor behind what he calls a gang-related murder. Napope was a member of the Terror Squad at the time of his death, and Bird was a member of an offshoot gang called ‘Tax Set.’ Morrall alleges Vermette had been a high-ranking member of Terror Squad but was also in Tax Set at the time of Napope’s death.
Even though both Vermette and Bird were arrested in March of 2016, Napope’s body wasn’t found until the following month – his remains were in a farm-area slough about ten kilometres west of the penitentiary. The husk of Napope’s car was found torched in June of 2015 near Buckland Fire Hall outside Prince Albert, with Bird and alleged others getting gasoline and throwing their clothes in the car before setting it on fire.
At this time, Vermette’s counsel has not responded to interview requests with MBC.
Here’s a timeline of the police investigation and court proceedings in Napope’s murder:
- Late June 2015: RCMP seeks information on Napope’s disappearance, and ties the disappearance to the burnt-out car
- Late November 2015: They received a number of tips after declaring Napope’s disappearance a homicide
- Early December 2015: RCMP seizes a white 1982 Monte Carlo in relation to the case
- Early January 2016: RCMP searches for leads in the area where the burnt car was found
- Mid-February 2016: RCMP and Prince Albert police conduct searches near the Prince Albert Penitentiary, related to Napope investigation
- Mid-March 2016: UPDATE: Prince Albert murder victim’s family relieved, sad after arrest made
- Mid-March 2016: RCMP says all murder suspects now in custody in Troy Napope case
- Early April 2016: UPDATE: Fiery conclusion to manhunt for dangerous Prince Albert inmate
- Early April 2016: Woman granted bail after being found with escaped prisoner
- Mid-April 2016: Troy Napope’s family mourns at site where his body was recovered
- Late May 2017: Prince Albert court hears Troy Napope’s death was ‘gang involved’ as man sentenced for murder