Saskatchewan

Inmate on remand dies after being assaulted at Saskatoon Correctional Centre

The charges Cornell Henry was facing were dropped a week after he was assaulted at the Saskatoon Correctional Centre. He died in hospital Thursday.

Cornell Henry died Thursday at Royal University Hospital following Oct. 23 assault

Cornell Henry died at Royal University Hospital on Thursday. He had been assaulted at the Saskatoon Correctional Centre on Oct. 23. (Trevor Bothorel/CBC)

A man being held at the Saskatoon Correctional Centre has died after being assaulted more than a week ago. 

Cornell Henry, who was being held in custody while awaiting the court process, was assaulted Oct. 23. 

"His cell was checked and it was determined that he was in a level of distress," said Drew Wilby, Ministry of Justice spokesperson. 

Wilby said staff called 911 and he was taken to the Royal University Hospital, where he died Thursday.

"The attack occurred quite quickly," Wilby said.

While he couldn't say exactly when it happened, he said it was after cells were unlocked and likely sometime after breakfast. 

The two-level remand unit was put on lockdown for a period of time after Henry was found.

Charges against Henry withdrawn

At the time of his death, Henry was technically no longer considered an inmate of the province. That's because the charges against him were withdrawn Tuesday. 

"Considering the shape that Mr. Henry was in, the Crown took it upon themselves to approach a judge for consideration to have those charges withdrawn," Wilby said.

He said a determining factor is whether the individual will be able to appear in court. 

"The state that Mr. Henry was in was pretty poor." 

Wilby said he will not release the nature of the charges Henry had been facing at this time out of respect for the family and because they were withdrawn. 

2 inmates charged

Two men, who were not Henry's cell mates, have been charged with aggravated assault in connection with the incident.

One of the men, Raven Don Constant, pleaded guilty to second-degree murder on Wednesday in connection with a separate case. 

Constant will be sentenced in February for that case, which was Saskatoon's first homicide of 2013.

The province says the Saskatoon Police Service's major crimes division is now handling the case. Officers will decide if the charges of aggravated assault will be elevated. 

The Ministry of Justice is investigating internally, as it does for all deaths in custody, and the file will be referred to the provincial coroner for review.​

with files from Creeden Martell, Kendall Latimer

now