Charges laid in fa­tal Saskatchewan prison riot

Medicine Hat News - - COMMUNITY - WEST -

PRINCE AL­BERT Crim­i­nal charges have been laid against four in­mates for their al­leged roles in a riot at the Saskatchewan Pen­i­ten­tiary that re­sulted in the death of a prisoner.

Up­wards of 200 in­mates caused ex­ten­sive dam­age last De­cem­ber in the medium-se­cu­rity wing of the fed­eral in­sti­tu­tion in Prince Al­bert.

Cor­rec­tional Ser­vice Canada said at the time that three in­mates were as­saulted by the ri­ot­ers and 43-year-old prisoner Ja­son Leonard Bird died.

Julius Beardy, Josh McLaren, Larry Windigo and John Lin­klater are charged with par­tic­i­pa­tion in a riot.

Beardy, McLaren and Windigo are also charged with wear­ing a mask with in­tent to com­mit an in­dictable of­fence, while Lin­klater, McLaren and Windigo are fac­ing counts of mis­chief and ob­struct­ing jus­tice by ob­scur­ing prison se­cu­rity cam­eras.

It's not yet clear if more charges will be laid.

All four made a court ap­pear­ance Wed­nes­day in Prince Al­bert via video link and are to re­turn to court Oct. 11.

McLaren and Lin­klater are still at Saskatchewan Pen­i­ten­tiary. Beardy is in the max­i­mum-se­cu­rity wing of the Edmonton In­sti­tu­tion and Windigo is at the Re­gional Psy­chi­atric Cen­tre in Saska­toon.

Cor­rec­tional Ser­vice Canada said staff dis­cov­ered the three in­jured in­mates while se­cur­ing the ranges in the unit. All three were in se­ri­ous con­di­tion when they were sent to hos­pi­tal.

Six other in­mates suf­fered non-life-threat­en­ing in­juries when the pen­i­ten­tiary's emer­gency re­sponse team opened fire with shot­guns while storm­ing the pris­on­ers' bar­ri­cades to end the dis­tur­bance.

A rep­re­sen­ta­tive with the Union of Cana­dian Cor­rec­tional Of­fi­cers said prior to the vi­o­lence, in­mates were dis­sat­is­fied with the qual­ity and por­tion size of food be­ing served to them.

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