Guilty plea to manslaughter charge in RCMP officer's death
The man who was charged in the death of an RCMP officer in 2021 has pleaded guilty to manslaughter. Alphonse Stanley Traverse, a 43-year-old originally from Winnipeg, was originally charged with manslaughter in the death of Constable Shelby Patton in Wolseley in June of 2021. The charge was upgraded to first-degree murder after his preliminary hearing, which was held in Regina in November of 2021. Appearing in the Court of King’s Bench in Regina Wednesday, Traverse pleaded guilty to manslaughter in the death of Cst. Patton. The officer was killed when a stolen vehicle, driven by Traverse, hit him while he was outside of his cruiser during a traffic stop in Wolseley on June 12, 2021. In the courtroom Wednesday, the details of the events leading up to and surrounding the death of Patton were made public through an agreed statement of facts. In the statement, it was explained Traverse and a woman who was accompanying him, Marlene Velma Louise Pagee, had travelled from Winnipeg to Saskatchewan. They had made the decision to travel as they were unable to play VLTs in Manitoba, where they were closed due to the COVID-19 pandemic. They left Winnipeg in a green truck, but concerned about the reliability of the vehicle, stopped in Pipestone, Manitoba where they stole a different vehicle to continue on their journey. The pair arrived in Wolseley around 6:30 a.m. on June 12th, 2021, and by 7:12 a.m., RCMP Dispatch was calling Patton regarding a report of a stolen vehicle in that town. Patton, coming from the Indian Head detachment, arrived in Wolseley around 45 minutes later. He located the stolen vehicle and pulled it over. In court, police interviews with Traverse were read. The interviews stated Patton had asked Traverse if he worked for the business that the truck had been stolen from. Traverse told Patton he did. It was at this point Patton asked Traverse to get out of the vehicle so he could confirm the details that had been provided to him. Traverse instead attempted to flee from the scene. Patton tried to stop the truck by jumping onto the vehicle’s sidestep. He was still on when he fell as the vehicle made a turn. He was then run over by the tire on the rear driver-side. Patton was pronounced dead at the scene by EMS. Traverse and Pagee then fled the scene, according to the statement of facts. Details about the pursuit of the truck, as reported in 2021, were that the couple were then spotted in a white truck on a property near Odessa. They would steal a different truck from that property. Police were looking for two separate pickup trucks, and they were found roughly 1.5 kilometres apart in a field near Francis. The RCMP reported the two suspects at the time and had fled on foot, before being arrested near Francis at roughly 10:00 a.m., two hours after the incident. While Traverse has now pleaded guilty and will be sentenced on February 29th, 2024, Pagee’s case is still before the courts. She was initially charged with manslaughter before the charge was changed to accessory after the fact of murder.