Jail­house killing caught on video

EMDC footage shows killer’s at­tacks on Adam Kar­gus, in­clud­ing one in front of a jail guard

The London Free Press - - LOCAL - RANDY RICH­MOND rrich­mond@post­media.com twit­ter.com/RandyRatLFPress

Two hours af­ter he be­gan beat­ing Adam Kar­gus to death, An­thony Ge­orge — sup­pos­edly blacked out and un­aware of what he was do­ing — heads to his jail­house cell win­dow.

With one hand, he gives a thumb­s­down through the win­dow.

With the other, he makes a slash­ing mo­tion across his throat.

The mes­sage had to be clear to the other in­mates in Unit 6 Left of the El­gin-Mid­dle­sex De­ten­tion Cen­tre, the pro­vin­cial jail in Lon­don. They’d seen or heard it all.

Ex­hibits from Ge­orge’s pre­lim­i­nary hear­ing, for his mur­der trial, re­leased Wed­nes­day by the Su­pe­rior Court of Jus­tice in­clude video ex­cerpts from Oct. 25, 2013, and the night Kar­gus was killed, Oct. 31.

Ge­orge, 32, pleaded guilty to sec­ond-de­gree mur­der two weeks ago, af­ter a two-day trial where only a brief state­ment of facts was read and one ex­hibit en­tered.

He was sen­tenced last week to life in prison with pa­role el­i­gi­bil­ity in 10 years.

Ge­orge, from Ket­tle Point, had in­sisted for four years he wasn’t guilty in the death of Kar­gus, a Sar­nia man, be­cause he had blacked out.

Af­ter watch­ing the video, he re­al­ized he was guilty, Ge­orge said. That’s no won­der. Though the video sur­veil­lance shows the two men through a cell win­dow, some­times ap­pear­ing only as a grotesque sil­hou­ette mime, it’s clear at many mo­ments what is hap­pen­ing: One man is killing an­other.

For that rea­son, and in the in­ter­ests of com­mu­nity stan­dards, The

Lon­don Free Press will not show video ex­cerpts of the killing.

But in the in­ter­ests of keep­ing an ac­count­abil­ity spot­light on EMDC, a fre­quent flash­point for trou­bles in On­tario’s cor­rec­tional sys­tem,

The Free Press is pro­vid­ing an ac­count of what can be seen.

They be­gin Oct. 25, 2013, with scenes of Ge­orge ap­ply­ing choke­holds to Kar­gus four times that day.

Once, Kar­gus goes limp. Two other times, he ap­pears to pass out.

The video ex­cerpts be­gin again the af­ter­noon and evening of Oct. 31.

In one of the most dis­turb­ing ex­cerpts, for what it says about EMDC op­er­a­tions, Ge­orge ap­pears at the “cage,” the meshed door­way where cor­rec­tional of­fi­cers can stand and ob­serve a unit, about 3:46 p.m.

From other ex­hibits, it’s known what Ge­orge and the of­fi­cer dis­cuss. Ge­orge is wear­ing a shirt with a jack o’lantern and asks the of­fi­cer if she likes it. Ge­orge says, “trick or treat,” and the of­fi­cer says there are no treats so he’d have to per­form a trick.

Ge­orge marches over to Kar­gus and puts him in a choke­hold. An­other of­fi­cer, on the range, ap­proaches.

No one does any­thing while Ge­orge puts Kar­gus in the choke­hold, his knees buck­ling.

It’s not clear if the of­fi­cer on the unit talks Ge­orge into stop­ping. Soon af­ter, the of­fi­cer puts the two men into Cell 3.

The start of the as­sault ap­pears on the video sur­veil­lance at 7:56 p.m. Ge­orge strikes Kar­gus with his left hand, then twice with his right.

Kar­gus hunches over and ap­pears to be defending him­self with his hand. It doesn’t help.

In that ex­cerpt, and oth­ers at 8:16 p.m., 8:26 p.m., 8:30 p.m. 8:32 p.m., 8:40 p.m. and 8:51 p.m., the video shows punches, choke­holds, kicks and stomps.

When he stomps on Kar­gus, Ge­orge some­times braces his hand on the cell wall.

Early in the as­sault, Kar­gus has his hands to­gether as if he’s plead­ing for mercy or help from oth­ers in the unit.

Af­ter the as­sault, Ge­orge can be seen clean­ing the walls and win­dow of his cell.

At 10:02 p.m., he gives the thumbs-down and the throat­slash­ing ges­ture.

The next morn­ing, video shows Ge­orge com­ing out of his cell, calmly wait­ing for a cor­rec­tional of­fi­cer to leave the unit.

He takes a pile of what ap­pears to be sheets out.

Then he gets other in­mates to help him clean up, while he drags Kar­gus’s body into the show­ers.

Kar­gus

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