Denecho Noel King, 22, was arrested on Friday at the North Slave Correctional Centre where he was already in custody after allegedly robbing a taxi driver in late February. He now faces one count of first or second-degree murder for John Wifladt’s death (to be decided at a later date by the courts), and one count of attempted murder for the attack that saw Colin Digness medevaced to Edmonton and left with one eye.
At the time of the attack in the third-floor apartment of Sunridge Place in the early hours of Dec. 14, 2014, King had only recently been released from prison, where he was serving a 22-month sentence for attacking a man with a machete. It’s unclear exactly when King was released. But given that the Sunridge attack took place in December, 2014 and his 22-month sentence began in July 2013, it appears he had been paroled early.
The previous assault took place on April 8, 2013 in Fort Providence. According to court documents, King and the victim of the attack were “playing video games and smoking crack cocaine” when “the accused became angry, stood up and brandished a machete.” King attacked the man, inflicting a deep 10 cm wound in his right forearm and a smaller cut in his right shin. According to testimony from the victim, the attack left him with significant mobility issues in his right hand.
At his sentencing for the assault, King briefly apologized for his actions, according to NNSL reports from the time.
“I know what I did was wrong and I take full responsibility,” he is reported to have said.
This was just one of a number of assaults featured on King’s lengthy court record. In January 2011, he was jailed for two months for attempting to assault a security guard with a lamp and uttering death threats. In November of that same year, he was given 12 months for assault causing bodily harm. (The court records detailing this assault were unavailable on Monday).
King also has a number of drug possession and mischief charges going back to 2010.
According to street community member Robert Wah-shee, King is well known as a drug dealer in Yellowknife’s street community, though Wah-shee wasn’t sure if King himself had spent time living on the streets or in homeless shelters.
“He approached me a few times to see if I wanted to buy dope,” said Wah-shee. “But I don’t do that shit.”
Another person, who wished to remain anonymous, said King is originally from Lutsel K’e, though he’s been living in Yellowknife for many years.
“He’s not a bad kid, he’s just lost sometimes,” she said.
King appeared in territorial court in Yellowknife this morning, and he’s scheduled to appear again on May 19 to face the robbery, murder and attempted murder charges. The murder charge carries a life sentence, and the attempted murder charge carries a five-year minimum sentence for the first offence.