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Friend listened from bed as Calgary woman beaten to death

When Christa Cachene's body was discovered it was unrecognizable

Christa Cachene was beat to death in her home after nearly two days of heavy drinking with friends, court heard.

Metro File Photo

Christa Cachene was beat to death in her home after nearly two days of heavy drinking with friends, court heard.

Friends of a Calgary woman beat to death—following heavy drinking at her Ranchlands home in 2015— slept through, and in one case, went to bed knowing she was being assaulted. 

Isaiah Riel Rider, represented by Balfour Der and James Wyman, was charged with second-degree murder in the death of Christa Cachene, 26

Rider pleaded guilty to the lesser charge of manslaughter after a plea deal was reached between his defence team and Crown prosecutors Joe Mercier and Matthew Block. 

The accused also pleaded guilty to five other counts including assault, assault with a weapon, robbery and theft of a motor vehicle. 

In an agreed statement of facts (ASF) read out in court Thursday afternoon by Block, court heard that on Oct. 11, 2015, after nearly two days of heavy drinking, five people remained at Cachane’s residence. 

Cachane’s boyfriend had passed out on the couch in the living room, and Cachene, Rider and a female friend were the only three still up. 

The ASF indicated that Rider and Cachene were seen arguing in the kitchen by the female friend and that she heard Cachene say that “she wanted to die.” 

“Ms. Cachene had a small knife and she stabbed the accused in his lower back area and also cut the back of his hand with the knife,” said the ASF. 

The fight then moved into the living room. Both Cachene and Rider were throwing punches at one another, but Cachene was knocked to the ground. 

“Once Ms. Cachene was on the ground, the accused began to stomp on her chest and head,” according to the ASF. 

Only then did the other conscious female friend go upstairs to go to sleep. 

“When she was upstairs he could hear the accused continue to attack and yell at Ms. Cachene.” 

Rider them “dumped” Cachene’s body down the stairs to her basement and attempted to clean up the blood with bleach. 

The next day the female friend woke up and left in a taxi. The other three, including Cachene’s boyfriend and Rider, left at the same time and began walking to the train. 

“During their walk, the accused told (Cachene’s boyfriend) that he was sorry that he killed Ms. Cachene,” read the ASF. 

The following day, Cachene’s father, Leslie Whitehead, came over to drop her kids off. When no one answered the door he had one of her children climb through a window and open the door. 

Whitehead entered the home and found his daughter’s body on the basement stairs. 

“She was so badly beaten that he did not recognize his daughter.” 

An autopsy revealed Cachene had died as a result of multiple blunt force injuries and restricted blood flow to her head. 

A toxicology report showed that she had a blood alcohol concentration of 260mg/100ml of blood. 

On Oct. 23, 2015 the accused committed the other offences while trying to evade police. 

While trying to steal a vehicle on the QE 2 highway, Rider assaulted three people— with the help of a group who was hiding in the ditch— who had pulled over to help him. 

When RCMP arrived on scene, Rider ran through a field to a nearby house where he threatened the homeowner and stole $300, keys to a Jeep and a cell phone. 

After leaving in the Jeep, police laid out a spike belt, and ultimately were able to apprehend Rider who was fleeing on foot. 

Rider will appear in court Oct. 16 where sentencing submissions and a Gladue report will be heard. This report looks at an aboriginal offender’s background to see what might have lead to their criminality. 

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