Police say a 25-year-old Regina man accused of committing three homicides in the city since November was a known danger to public safety who officers were trying to “stay on top of.”
Dillon Ricky Whitehawk is charged with first-degree murder in the deaths of Jordan Denton in November 2019, Keenan Toto in December 2019 and Keesha Cree Alexandra Bitternose in January.
Kurtis Clayton, 20, of Saskatoon, and Kelly Renee Stonechild of Regina are also charged with first-degree murder in connection with Bitternose’s death.
Regina police Supt. Corey Zaharuk said in a news conference Thursday afternoon that all three accused were members of a Saskatchewan street gang.
Whitehawk was wanted on weapons charges when the first death occurred and out on bail with conditions when the other two happened.
“Our police service is constantly focused on individuals who are seriously compromising public safety, and it’s clear that Dillon Whitehawk was not the only one, but one of a handful, that we were aware of and we were trying our best to stay on top of him,” said Zaharuk.
He said one of the court-ordered conditions on Whitehawk at the time Bitternose died was that he not be in Regina.
Watch | Police discuss this case:
According to Zaharuk, Jordan Denton and Keenan Toto were shot on the street from a nearby vehicle. Bitternose is believed to have been killed on Jan. 2. She was found on Jan. 5, by which time Whitehawk was in custody, having been charged with a string of weapons offences the previous day.
Whitehawk is also charged with two counts of possession of a firearm or ammunition contrary to prohibition in connection with the Toto and Denton deaths.
Zaharuk said he “couldn’t be prouder” of the work of homicide investigators.
“It’s important to remember that these types of investigations take time to gather evidence and interview people,” he said..
“As soon as we could obtain appropriate evidence to proceed with charges we arrested people for these incidents.”
Zaharuk added that it is important to remember the victims.
“It’s a sad day because we have lost a number of people from our community. They have lost their lives tragically,” he said.
Jordan Denton, 27, was found dead on the 800 block of Robinson Street in Regina on Nov. 9, 2019 at about 3:25 a.m. CST.
Keenan Toto, 23, was found dead lying on the street on the 1200 block of Queen Street on Dec. 1, 2019 at about 4 a.m. CST.
Police found Keesha Cree Alexandra Bitternose dead in a home on the 1500 block of Cameron Street at about 11 p.m. CST on Jan. 5, 2020.
Bitternose’s father, Arlen Bitternose, remembers his daughter as a great mother and a kind, loving person who was always willing to help others.
“I feel relieved,” he said. “The first month not knowing what was going on was kinda hard.”
Arlen Bitternose said he doesn’t know if his daughter and Whitehawk knew each other.
She had lost a child a couple of years ago, according to Arlen Bitternose. He said she pushed her family away after that. The loss caused Keesha to “lose her way,” he said.
Arlen Bitternose said he is sad for his four grandchildren, who are left without a mom.
“They’ll never get to hug their mom, kiss their mom … things like that. That’s the hard part,” he said.
What happened to Keesha Bitternose is still sinking in for the family.
“We still have a long journey to go. I [haven’t] really had a chance to mourn, I said I wasn’t going to mourn my girl until justice was served,” he said.
The charges laid against Whitehawk on Jan. 4, the day before Bitternose was found, include:
- Possession of a weapon.
- Careless use of a firearm, weapon, prohibited device or ammunition.
- Possession of a firearm.
- Possession of prohibited/restricted weapon.
- Possession of a prohibited or restricted firearm with ammunition.
- Possession of a firearm, prohibited or restricted weapon obtained by crime.
- Possession of a firearm or ammunition contrary to prohibition order.
- Two counts of failure to comply with condition of a release order.
Whitehawk made his first court appearances on the charges in Regina provincial court Thursday morning.
His next court appearance is scheduled for March 18.