London

Prisoner guilty of killing his cellmate faces new assault charges

The prisoner who pleaded guilty to killing his cellmate at the Elgin-Middlesex Detention Centre in London, Ont., is facing new charges related to assaulting an inmate with a weapon while behind bars in a different prison.

Anthony George was convicted of second-degree murder in October in the beating death of his cellmate

Anthony George was charged with aggravated assault, assault using a weapon, carrying a concealed weapon and possessing a weapon for the purpose of committing an offence. (CBC)

The man who pleaded guilty to killing his cellmate at the Elgin-Middlesex Detention Centre in London, Ont., is facing new charges related to assaulting an inmate with a weapon while behind bars in a different facility.

CBC News has learned that Anthony George and three other inmates are facing assault charges following an incident at Millhaven Institution, a maximum security prison located west of Kingston.

All four were charged on December 31, 2017 with aggravated assault, assault using a weapon, carrying a concealed weapon and possessing a weapon for the purpose of committing an offence.

The medical status of the victim is unclear.

'How was this allowed to happen — again'

Deb Abrams says more needs to be done to increase security in provincial and federal correctional centres. (CBC)

George was sentenced to life in prison in October with no possibility of parole for 10 years after he pleaded guilty of second-degree murder of his cellmate Adam Kargus. The incident happened at EMDC in 2013.

The 29-year-old was found dead in the shower, where he was choked, punched and stomped to death by George during an alcohol and drug-induced frenzy.

George was transferred from EMDC to Millhaven Institution to serve his sentence.

We need to establish correctional centres that are actually correctional so these kinds of monsters aren't manufactured.- Kevin Egan, lawyer

"How was this allowed to happen — again? For an inmate to be assaulted or injured," Kargus' mother Deb Abrams told CBC News.

"This was just shocking. This person has no intention of ever changing his ways."
Adam Kargus, 29, was beaten to death by his cellmate in 2013. (Deb Abrams)

She said the recent incident has further fuelled her speculation about the lack of security at correctional centres.

After her son's death, six staffers at EMDC were initially fired for failing to do their jobs.

Three of the guards were later given back their jobs after an Ontario's grievance settlement board found that their actions which led to their firing in this case "have gone on for years, if not decades, and they were open and obvious."

EMDC: 'a culture of violence'

A London lawyer said the jail, dubbed "the devil's playground", acts as a violent springboard for inmates who either leave or transfer to another facility.

"It's a warehouse where people do bad things," said Kevin Egan, who represents thousands of current and former inmates of EMDC in a certified class-action lawsuit against the province. They allege they were victims of the jail's violent atmosphere. 

"They go in, spend some time there, learn a culture of violence from other inmates and come out worse than when they went in ... We need to establish correctional centres that are actually correctional so these kinds of monsters aren't manufactured," he said.

The Elgin-Middlesex Detention Centre in London, Ont., has one of the highest numbers of inmate deaths in Canada. (CBC)

Egan said the new charges could affect George's parole eligibility and future placement.

A spokesperson for Correctional Services Canada could not speak directly to the incident but said "a security incident may effect movement after two years … at a maximum security facility."

George and the other three suspects are scheduled to appear in court later this month. 

With files from Joseph Loiero

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