Preliminary inquiry begins in case of Her Majesty's Penitentiary riot
A preliminary inquiry has begun for four current and former inmates at Her Majesty's Penitentiary in St. John's, who are accused of participating in a riot that cost the prison more than $100,000.
The riot — the third in less than a year at the province's largest prison — caused extensive damage, when inmates flooded the floor, ripped down parts of the ceiling, destroyed light fixtures, and gyproc, and even tore off eight cell doors.
When a request such as that is made, the protocol is to put the remaining inmates back in their cells, but on this June 2014 evening, they didn't want to go and caused a lot of issues for prison guards.
Twelve inmates were charged with causing more than $100,000 to the penitentiary.
Several men have already pleaded guilty and have been sentenced.
Jody Clarke, 39, Philip Hollihan, 29, Justin Hopkins, 31, and Steven Rumsey, 33, are facing charges of unlawfully participating in a riot and mischief causing damage over $5,000.
Charges against a twelfth man, Anthony Sturge, were withdrawn by the Crown.
Clarke, who is no longer in custody, is also implicated in a February riot inside the prison chapel at HMP in which Kenny Green was targeted and attacked.
Hopkins and Hollihan were involved in another riot in August 2013, when inmates took control of a unit and held another inmate hostage.
They both pleaded guilty to mischief.
The preliminary inquiry will determine if there is enough evidence against the remaining four men to send the case to trial.
In the event of trial, the men have elected a Supreme Court trial by judge alone.