Frances Sugar feared for her life as she begged her daughter Lindey to let her out of a car speeding out of Saskatoon, according to a statement she gave to RCMP the day after she was arrested near the scene where she allegedly stabbed Lindey to death.
Video of the interview between Frances and Sgt. Robert Nicholas of the RCMP’s Major Crime Unit North was played for the jury in Frances’ second-degree murder trial.
It took some time before Frances opened up to Nicholas about Lindey’s death, saying she was still in shock and wanted to have a lawyer. Nicholas kept telling her that he wasn’t looking for evidence, as they’d already gathered enough from the scene. Rather, he insisted he just wanted to know why Frances did what she did, and that talking would help her begin to heal.
Frances began talking about the events leading to her daughter’s death when Nicholas asked her about an argument between her boyfriend, a man called Horse, and Lindey. Frances told Nicholas the two began bickering over a pack of cigarette rolling papers as they were in Lindey’s car, preparing to bring Lindey’s spouse a plate of food from a barbecue they’d attended at the home of Dennis Kissling, one of Lindey’s friends.
Frances told Nicholas the argument over the rolling papers escalated to Lindey and Horse exchanging blows, with Horse leaving the scene on foot. Frances said at this point, Lindey “was freaking out” and sped off with her still in the back and Kissling in the front passenger seat.
She said she couldn’t remember what Lindey said, but she did recall being surprised no police stopped them as they made their way to the freeway. She said she opened the door and stuck her foot out of the car near the intersection of Idylwyld Drive and 23rd Street, but couldn’t bring herself to throw herself out of the moving vehicle.
Frances told Nicholas she worried she was being driven out of town to be beaten, or killed. She said she’d always been scared of Lindey, who was about 70 pounds heavier than her and had a three or four-inch advantage in height.
Nicholas then moved to questions about what happened immediately before Lindey got stabbed. Kissling testified earlier in the trial that Lindey hauled Frances out of the car and that a struggle ensued, ending with Frances stabbing Lindey in the neck.
On the video, Frances said she didn’t remember much. She said she remembered getting hit and she remembered being arrested. She said the pocketknife found by police near the scene with her daughter’s blood on it was one Lindey kept in the console of her vehicle, but she said she had no idea whether she took it off Lindey in a struggle, or if she grabbed it out of the car herself.
Nicholas asked Frances why she threw the knife away. She said she couldn’t recall.
“I don’t know. I was probably horrified,” she said.
Frances’ statement clashed with Kissling’s testimony on a few key points. She told police Kissling got out of the car when Lindey did, while he testified he stayed inside the car and watched Lindey and Frances fight through the passenger side mirror of the vehicle. Where Kissling testified that the fight between Lindey and Frances happened on the road with the pair standing up, Frances said she remembered being in the ditch.
The jury will see the rest of the video when Frances’ trial resumes on Thursday morning.