Sunday, July 25, 2021
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Lethbridge woman charged with first degree murder in pedestrian-vehicle collision

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LETHBRIDGE, AB – A woman is facing a homicide charge following a lengthy investigation by Lethbridge Police.

Back on June 1, 2020, at about 4:40 pm, police and EMS were called to a report of a collision between a truck and a male pedestrian in the west alley along the 900 block of 13th street south.

At the time, LPS said a woman from the truck had gotten out and was attending to the victim, but the male occupant of the truck had taken off with the vehicle.

Our investigators deemed this was in fact a domestic violence situation, but the actual motive for why is not clear at this time,” Lethbridge Police Inspector Jason Walper

Witnesses also reported a man, who had been walking with the victim, had run away.

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30 year old Austin James (AJ) Forsyth of Lethbridge was taken to Chinook Regional Hospital where he died of his injuries.

After several months of investigation, 37 year old Melissa Dumaine Whitegrass was arrested and charged with first-degree murder; dangerous driving causing death; and assault with a weapon.

LPS Inspector Jason Walper says Whitegrass and Forsyth were involved in a common-law relationship until 2017. “Our investigators deemed this was in fact a domestic violence situation, but the actual motive for why is not clear at this time.”

Walper says evidence police collected at the scene and talking to witnesses as well as other investigative techniques, led investigators to believe this was intentional.

Whitegrass remains in custody and is set to appear in court on March 9.

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Patrick Siedlecki

Pat has been a mainstay in the CJOC News department from the time the station launched in 2007. He’s been in the position of New Director since then and has been anchoring daily news casts as well as reporting and working behind the scenes.

Community is important to him and keeping CJOC listeners and readers informed about what’s happening across southern Alberta and beyond.

Pat has been in radio broadcasting for the past 24 years, starting in Port Alberni on Vancouver Island in 1997 and then moving up island to Nanaimo for another few years before heading to Lethbridge in 2007.

Pat grew up in the small Saskatchewan farming town of Foam Lake. After high school, he went to Western Academy Broadcasting College (WABC) in Saskatoon prior to moving to the island.

Pat also spent several years broadcasting hockey in the BCHL as well as seven years as the radio voice of the Lethbridge Hurricanes in the WHL.

On a personal note, Pat has been working at Cornerstone Funeral Home in Lethbridge as a Certified Life Celebrant and funeral assistant since 2016.

Pat is engaged to Tarah and he has two kids and two step-children.

News and sports have always been Pat’s passion from the time he was a teenager and he’s always been grateful to have had the opportunity to make that part of what’s been a fun and long radio career!

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