Edmonton

Murder charge laid in remand centre slaying

An inmate has been charged with second-degree murder in the slaying of another inmate at the Edmonton Remand Centre.
An inmate was found dead Thursday in the Edmonton Remand Centre. (CBC)

An inmate has been charged with second-degree murder in the slaying of another inmate at the Edmonton Remand Centre.

Justin Caldwell Somers, 25, was charged in the death of the 60-year-old man whose name has not been released.

Officers were called just after 5 a.m. Thursday after staff discovered the prisoner dead in a cell.

Homicide detectives were called in shortly afterwards. 

The victim's name will not be released until his next-of-kin are notified. An autopsy is scheduled for Friday morning.

Sources tell CBC News Somers had only been in the remand centre for two days. Somers is from Fort McMurray and has a minor criminal record. He currently faces mischief charges.

Somers was put in the remand centre Tuesday because he allegedly failed to follow his bail conditions. Alberta Justice confirms he was due to appear in Fort McMurray provincial court next Monday.

Guy Smith, president of the Alberta Union of Provincial Employees, says lack of staff is a problem on the unit where the man was killed.

"I do know that on that unit, in the discharge and admissions unit, that they were down a staff [member] because recently management had been pulling staff off that floor about that time that incident could have occurred," Smith said.

"And our union representatives at that work site had raised that concern a week ago saying they were concerned about lack of staffing specifically on that unit."

There has only been one other homicide at the facility since it opened more than three decades ago.