Saskatchewan woman convicted of murder arrested in Vancouver for skipping parole

On the run, arrested in BC

A Saskatchewan woman who stole back her freedom after being convicted for a murder she says she didn’t commit has been arrested in B.C.

Nerissa Quewezance was wanted on a Canada-wide warrant since spring 2020 for parole violations. She was arrested in Vancouver earlier this month and appeared in Vancouver Provincial Court.

Nerissa and her sister, Odelia Quewezance, have maintained their innocence for almost 30 years. They were sentenced to life on second-degree murder charges in 1994 for the death of Anthony Joseph Dolff from Kamsack, Sask. A young offender, who was 15 at the time, was also convicted.

In May, Nerissa spoke to Glacier Media on the phone from an undisclosed location when she was on the run.

“I’m doing awesome,” she said about her freedom. “I’m living the dream I never had.”

Even though Nerissa says she was wrongfully convicted, she isn’t bitter.

“I don’t blame nobody, you know,” she said previously. “I learned to forgive.”

Congress of Aboriginal Peoples National Vice-Chief Kim Beaudin has been calling on the federal government to intervene and release the sisters. Beaudin said despite a lack of physical evidence, and the testimony of the young offender admitting he was the one responsible for the murder in 1993, Odelia and Narrisa have remained in prison. Beaudin added that the young offender only received a four-year sentence for second-degree murder while the sisters were handed life sentences.

Odelia said they were treated unfairly from day one because they were Indigenous women living in Saskatchewan.

“Someone else has confessed to this horrific murder and still the justice system fails us,” said Odelia.

A spokesperson from the Saskatchewan Justice Minister’s office said the ministry is aware of the concerns that have been raised about the sisters’ innocence and they are working to gather additional information.

Federal Justice Minister David Lametti’s office said should an application be made to the Criminal Conviction Review Group, they would review relevant material and decide, on the basis of the facts and the law, whether a review application should be dismissed or allowed. Individuals who have exhausted their rights of appeal can apply to have their convictions reviewed.

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