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Pond Inlet man dies, spouse allowed home to await trial

Manslaughter accused freed with conditions

By JIM BELL

A Pond Inlet woman accused of manslaughter in the recent death of her common-law partner is now released back into her community until the courts deal with the charge against her, under a ruling this week by an Iqaluit justice of the peace.

Susie Pewatoaluk, 42, of Pond Inlet, was charged with manslaughter following an RCMP investigation into the death of 46-year-old Imosie "Amos" Ootoova, also of Pond Inlet.

Ootoova died at the Pond Inlet health centre at around 12:30 a.m. Jan. 17, RCMP said in a Jan. 18 press release.

About 45 minutes before that, the local RCMP detachment had received a complaint about "an assault with a weapon" at the couple's residence, the press release said.

Police arrested Pewatoaluk, then charged her with manslaughter and flew her to Iqaluit, where she was held in RCMP cells until a court appearance Jan. 20.

In court, defence lawyer Chris Debicki and Crown prosecutor Barry McLaren appeared to have already negotiated most of the details of a release order for Pewatoaluk.

Both lawyers supported their submissions to Justice of the Peace Bill Riddell with references to evidence that may not be published or broadcast, under a court order.

At the end of the hearing, Riddell ordered that Pewatoaluk be released from custody, subject to the following conditions:

  • while awaiting the next available flight to Pond Inlet, she must remain in the care of a certain couple in Iqaluit;
  • in Pond Inlet, she must remain under the supervision of a local counsellor who has agreed to pay a $2,000 surety if Pewatoaluk violates the conditions of her release;
  • she must report weekly to the RCMP and report any changes of address;
  • she must abstain from alcohol and illegal drugs, and possess no firearms or ammunition;
  • she must not remain in any Ootoova family residence if she is not welcome.

Pewatoaluk's next court appearance is scheduled for Feb. 24 in Pond Inlet.

The crime of manslaughter involves killing another person without the intent to kill, or in other circumstances that do not amount to murder.

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