Wednesday April 12, 2023
Hashi family ‘profoundly disappointed’ with outcome
The family of Hodan Hashi, pictured, says it is 'profoundly disappointing' that the manslaughter charge against Hashi's accused killer has been stayed. (Submitted by Hashi family)
The Crown has stayed the manslaughter charge against a Saskatoon woman accused in the death of Hodan Hashi at a Saskatoon nightclub in November.
Paige Theriault-Fisher was initially charged with second-degree murder, but the charge was reduced to manslaughter the same day. That charge was stayed Tuesday morning.
According to Nicholas Stooshinoff, the lawyer handling a $1-million lawsuit
put forward by Hashi's family, they are "profoundly disappointed" with the decision.
He said the family felt there was "ample evidence there was an unlawful act" in the death.
The Ottawa-raised woman's sister, Fartun Hashi, posted on Twitter she was "sad, angry and outraged."
"[Theriault-Fisher] is walking away a free woman while my sister is buried six feet. Not a murder charge, not a manslaughter charge, not even an aggravated assault charge, not one thing. This is the value of Black life in Canada," she wrote in a subsequent post.
Saskatoon police were called to the building in Saskatoon's downtown just before 3 a.m. CST on Nov. 5, 2022. Officers and paramedics tried to treat Hashi, but she died
of her injuries.
Videos widely circulated on social media show Hashi and Theriault-Fisher wrestling on the dance floor of Lit Nightclub, located above the Crazy Cactus Restaurant and Lounge, shortly before Hashi's death.
Theriault-Fisher is seen repeatedly striking Hashi in the face and neck area. A pool of blood suddenly appears beneath Hashi, blossoming out across the floor. The women are separated, then Hashi stands and staggers a few steps before collapsing.
In an emailed statement, the provincial Ministry of Justice said it filed a stay of proceedings because the incident did not meet all the standards for prosecution, which are a reasonable likelihood of conviction and being in the public interest.
It said the fight between the two women was mutual and no weapons were used.
"During the fight, the two women went to the ground and, tragically, Hodan Hashi was cut by a broken glass lying on the floor. Based on the evidence, that cut was the fatal injury that caused Ms. Hashi's death," the statement said.
"After careful consideration, Public Prosecutions has concluded that the fatal injury resulted from an accident; there is no reasonable likelihood of conviction for the charge of manslaughter or any other criminal charge."
Like Hashi's sister, Ali Abukar — who is CEO of Saskatoon's Open Door Society but said he is speaking as a concerned community member — pointed to racial discrimination as a reason he believes the case didn't progress.
"To hear that the case is not even going to have a chance at a trial … is beyond devastation," he said.
"There is a lot of trust issues with the justice system for the Black community."
Abukar said he believes that if the roles were reversed, the justice system would have proceeded differently.
In an emailed statement Tuesday, defence lawyer Sharon Fox said the stay of proceedings was not made lightly and was the right call, stating Theriault-Fisher was acting in self-defence and never intended "for any harm to come to Ms. Hashi."
"It is not lost on Ms. Theriault-Fisher that the Hashi family has lost a daughter, sister, cousin, and friend and we extend our heartfelt condolences to the Hashi family," the statement said.
Theriault-Fisher and her defence are expected to speak to media Wednesday afternoon.