Man charged in deaths of two Edmonton children, serious injury to their mother

EDMONTON — A man charged in the deaths of two young children in Edmonton was ordered by the courts earlier this fall not to have contact with their mother after an earlier assault.

Ashton Brian Lafleche, 29, appeared briefly by closed-circuit television in provincial court Friday morning.

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Court documents show he faces two counts of second-degree murder in the deaths of Mackenzie Petawaysin and Mary Lafleche Petawaysin.

He's also charged with assault causing bodily harm to the children's mother, Tamara Petawaysin, and breach of probation for failing to comply with an order on Oct. 31 not to have any contact with her.

Lafleche's defence lawyer, Gary Smith, set the matter over to Dec. 21 and declined to comment outside court.

Edmonton police acting Staff Sgt. Terrie Affolder said officers got a call around 5:35 p.m. Wednesday about a woman who had been obviously assaulted and who was being chased by a man outside.

She was taken to hospital with serious but not life-threatening injuries and, a few hours later, a naked man acting erratically was arrested at a garage.

Officers did not find the children in an initial search of the rental suite, but after speaking to the suspect they returned and found the youngsters in one of the rooms, said Affolder.

"Their bodies were found concealed underneath piles of various household items," she said.

Affolder did not give the ages of the children other than to say they were very young. Autopsies were scheduled for Friday, but the results weren't expected before Monday.

She said the man was the biological father of one of the children, but was not living in the apartment with the woman.

"They had a relationship at some point because they had a biological child together, and I believe they were still having a relationship of some sort at this time."

Police said the accused, who they did not name, was known to them.

Court records show Lafleche had pleaded guilty in an Edmonton court on Oct. 31 to an assault charge involving Tamara Petawaysin.

He was fined $100 and sentenced to 12 months probation.

Under the terms of his probation, he was ordered not to have contact with Petawaysin.

On Nov. 30, he pleaded guilty to breaching a condition of recognizance and was sentenced to 30 days in jail. It's not clear in the court documents why he was out of jail.

His record also contains convictions on other charges, including uttering threats and assault on a peace officer.

Note to readers: This is a corrected story. An earlier version based on police information said the suspect was charged with aggravated assault.

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