Steven Morin plays with his one-year-old daughter Harleigh, hoping he won’t miss these moments bonding with her. He reads her a children’s book, and she showers him with kisses.
But he could miss two years of her life.
Morin was arrested in February 2023 for robbing six Edmonton pharmacies to get drugs. He pleaded guilty to two counts of robbery, and the prosecutor dropped 16 other charges.
He says the robberies were a result of PTSD and addiction.
“That was not even me,” he told APTN News. “That was a person that was lost. Like mentally and spiritually.
“I can’t even recall a single second.”
Morin is awaiting a Gladue report – a pre-sentencing report for the judge on an offender’s Indigenous background. He could be sentenced to two years in prison.
He says he feels horrible about the mental anguish and fear he caused people working at the pharmacies.
“I’m disgusted with myself, to be honest with you, because I hurt someone. I know how PTSD affects an individual.”
APTN News and APTN Investigates first featured Morin in 2019.
He was placed in foster care at the age of five and sexually abused by his foster father for almost five years.
An APTN investigation found the foster father, John Edward Beaver, had a previous conviction for possessing child pornography. He was facing more than a dozen charges of sexual assault when he died in his sleep in 2014.
The trauma left a life-long impact on Morin, who would wake up at night with memories of the abuse.
As a young adult, he turned to drugs to help escape the pain. He spent a $35,000 injury claim within months.
He sued the Alberta government for the damage caused to his childhood.
Reliving the abuse was a Pandora’s Box.
“All that (came) flooding into my life. It’s no different from a soldier coming back from the war,” he says.
He turned to hard drugs – methamphetamine and crack cocaine.
And robbery, knocking over six Edmonton pharmacies at the beginning of 2022. It took a year before he was caught.
In May of 2022, Morin settled out of court with the province for $312,000. He says he wasted almost all of that money on drugs. A bad business investment took the rest.
Then came his daughter and a new lease on life. He is sharing his story to inspire others.
He has another daughter on the way, a job working for Enoch Cree Nation outside Edmonton, and a nice home and a truck.
He says he is ready to do his time. But hoping the judge will sentence him to house arrest and probation.
“There are no words that I can find,” Morin says. “Words are just words.
“Actions speak louder than words, and … I just really want (the pharmacy employees) to know that I really am sorry. And I hope they still find their enjoyment with their career.”