Man accused of Yellowknife murder has long and troubling criminal history

·3 min read

A 29-year-od Wha Ti man accused of murdering another man in Yellowknife this month has a long and increasingly violent criminal history.

Morin Lee Nitsiza, also known a Morin Mike Nitsiza and Moran Nitsiza, was arrested Jan. 10, two days after another man was found dead near the downtown homeless shelter and sobering centre.

According to court records, Nitsiza has been in almost constant trouble with the law since he was a teenager. He has been convicted of assault, assault with a weapon, aggravated assault, sexual assault, sexual interference, break and enter, and theft and robbery.

In 2011 he was expelled from school for threatening to kill the principal of the Wha Ti school he was attending. In a background report prepared for his sentencing for making that threat, a probation officer noted, "Morin indicated he had no plan to follow through on his words and further states, 'That's just not in me. I may have the courage to fight someone but not to stab or kill someone.'"

In early 2018 Nitisza was convicted of slashing another man with a knife in Sombe K'e Park in Yellowknife.The same year he was convicted of breaking and entering a downtown convenience store.

According to a background report prepared for his sentencing on the break and enter charge, Nitsiza said he was black out drunk and had no memory of the robbery.

"Morin is hopeful that he can establish a healthier lifestyle following his sentence," noted another probation officer in a report prepared for that sentencing.

Two attempts at residential treatment

According to the background reports, Nitsiza's parents split up when he was five years old. His mother took him and his siblings to Yellowknife. He was placed into care a few years later, after his mother lost her job and started drinking excessively. He remained in foster care the rest of his adult life.

A doctor who examined Nitsiza when he was an infant, noticed he was very slow to develop motor skills and suspected he was suffering from fetal alcohol spectrum disorder, according to one of the background reports. He was formally diagnosed with FASD when he was four years old and, again, at the age of 16, according to the reports.

Nitsiza has never been employed. He began smoking cannabis and drinking when he was 14 and dropped out of school after he was expelled.

"I got tired of going to school and seeing the same faces," he told a probation officer.

Nitsiza attended two residential counselling programs, according to the probation officers' reports.

He was at Ranch Ehrlo in Regina in 2007.

"He went AWOL numerous times (13 in total) and did not complete the program," noted one of the probation officers. He committed a robbery while he was in Regina taking the program.

From February 2009 to August 2010 Nitsiza attended the PLEA program for troubled youth in Vancouver. He was kicked out of the program when he was charged with assault with a weapon.

Nitsiza is currently being held a the North Slave Correctional Centre on the murder charge. His next court appearance is scheduled for Feb. 17.