Woman charged with murder given more time to get a lawyer

·2 min read
RCMP say 34-year-old Christopher Dedam of Esgenoôpetitj First Nation was found dead at a home on Aug. 25, 2020. Nikita Dedam has been charged with second-degree murder. (Gail Harding/CBC - image credit)
RCMP say 34-year-old Christopher Dedam of Esgenoôpetitj First Nation was found dead at a home on Aug. 25, 2020. Nikita Dedam has been charged with second-degree murder. (Gail Harding/CBC - image credit)

An Esgenoôpetitj woman charged with second-degree murder has been given another two weeks to secure a lawyer.

Nikita Marie Dedam, 34, is charged in connection with the death of Christopher Dedam, also of Esgenoôpetitj, last August.

RCMP previously said officers were called to Esgenoôpetitj First Nation northeast of Miramichi at 10:15 a.m. on Aug. 25, 2020. Christopher Dedam, 34, was found dead at a home on Micmac Road. His death was ruled a homicide. Nikita Dedam was charged with second-degree murder on April 1.

Dedam, who is being held at the Nova Institution for Women in Nova Scotia, appeared in Miramichi provincial court Tuesday afternoon by video.

Duty counsel Simon Wood told Judge Cameron Gunn that Dedam had applied for legal aid for charges she faces in Nova Scotia, but hadn't applied for the separate charges in New Brunswick.

It wasn't clear what charges she faces in Nova Scotia.

Gunn asked Dedam's parole officer and Wood to assist her in getting the paperwork she needs to apply for legal aid, given the seriousness of the charges.

"Obviously the offender is not at liberty to do certain things," Gunn said to the parole officers.

"On her next appearance we want to make sure that she's got at least that application in so that we can try to advance this."

He said the New Brunswick Legal Aid Services Commission can't authorize representation until an application has been made.

"In the circumstances, I'm almost certain that legal aid will authorize counsel," Gunn said.

Legal aid is available to those charged with crimes who cannot afford a lawyer, if they meet certain criteria and there is a likelihood of jail time if convicted.

Dedam also faces charges of assaulting a police officer and resisting a police officer.

Dedam returns to court May 11.