One of two men charged with first-degree murder in the 2017 death of Wilfred “Dickie” Charlie in Carmacks has been granted bail on the condition that he be accepted into the Salvation Army’s Yukon Adult Resource Centre (YARC) in Whitehorse. (Crystal Schick/Yukon News file)

Man charged in 2017 Carmacks murder granted bail

Mario Rueben Skookum, 25, must abide by 13 conditions

One of two men charged with first-degree murder in the 2017 death of Wilfred “Dickie” Charlie in Carmacks has been granted bail on the condition that he be accepted into the Salvation Army’s Yukon Adult Resource Centre (YARC) in Whitehorse.

Mario Rueben Skookum, 25, was arrested and charged in Charlie’s death on Oct. 6, 2017. He has been in custody since then.

Skookum’s bail hearing was held last week. In an hour-long decision delivered July 10, Yukon Supreme Court Justice Leigh Gower approved Skookum’s interim release but placed 13 conditions on it, including that Skookum must abstain from possessing or consuming any alcohol or drugs, that he must reside at the YARC and that he must abide by a curfew.

He is also forbidden from contacting 15 people, including his co-accused, Tyler Aaron Skookum.

The submissions made by Crown attorney Lauren Whyte and defence lawyer Bibhas Vaze during Skookum’s bail hearing and Gower’s reasons are covered by a publication ban.

In an interview following Gower’s decision, Vaze said he thought the conditions Gower placed on Skookum’s release were “reasonable.”

Speaking generally, Vaze said a lack of resources is an issue faced by Indigenous people accused of crimes across Canada.

“It’s a situation where so many systemic, historical factors have come together to make it difficult for Indigenous people to be able to be on bail.… One should not be disadvantaged by their social-economic situation from getting placement in the community,” he said.

The YARC is an 18-bed rehabilitation facility operated by the Salvation Army and funded by the Yukon government, with beds contracted out to the Yukon government, Correctional Service Canada and reserved for the community wellness court.

Executive director Ian McKenzie said that while it’s rare for people released on bail to be accepted into one of its programs, it’s not unheard of. He confirmed that the Salvation Army has received a request to accept Skookum, but said that the Salvation Army’s response, if any, is confidential.

Contact Jackie Hong at jackie.hong@yukon-news.com

Comments are closed

Just Posted

Woman’s death in Ross River confirmed to be a homicide, Yukon RCMP says

Maryann Ollie, 59, died on Aug. 1. She was a citizen of Ross River Dena Council.

Jack Amos adds to Yukon medal count at Western Canada Summer Games

The territory’s athletes now have six medals — one silver and five bronze

Start of the Whitehorse school year signals traffic changes

School zones in effect starting Aug. 21

Canada Games Centre tests new software

You may want to hold off on buying those punch cards

Yukonomist: Fun facts for your next violent barbecue debate about government jobs

Have you ever been at a barbecue where someone starts talking loudly… Continue reading

Yukon disc golfers compete in Trilogy Challenge

“We definitely are seeing a lot of new people starting into the sport”

Council news, briefly

Some of the decisions made at the Aug. 5 Whitehorse city council meeting

History Hunter: New book celebrates Yukon’s most colourful hotel

If the walls could talk, what tales they would tell. But the… Continue reading

River Trail Marathon tests runners with heat and sun

“It was very hot in the second half, but the volunteers are amazing and there is water often”

Yukonomist: If climate change was a pothole, we already would have fixed it

Paved roads are good, but I fear we have gone too far

Chili and Beans Race the perfect recipe for a rainy day

“It’s good. Especially in these conditions because you know you have a warm bowl of chili waiting”

Motive will be ‘extremely difficult’ to determine in northern B.C. deaths, RCMP say

The bodies of Kam McLeod and Bryer Schmegelsky have been found

Most Read