Prison staff charged in connection with inmate death
Andrea Janus, CTVNews.ca
Published Wednesday, March 5, 2014 9:57AM EST
Last Updated Wednesday, March 5, 2014 6:32PM EST
Two guards and a supervisor have been charged in connection with the brutal beating death of an inmate at an Ontario detention centre last fall.
The London Police Service announced the charges in a news release Wednesday morning.
The charges stem from an investigation into the death of Adam Kargus, an inmate at the Elgin-Middlesex Detention Centre, last Halloween night.
Detention centre staff notified London police of Kargus’ death on the morning of Nov. 1. During their investigation, police concluded that Kargus had been bludgeoned to death in his holding cell the night before.
Police charged Kargus’s cellmate, Anthony George, with second-degree murder. George had a history of violent behaviour both inside and outside of prison and had recently been transferred from another facility, CTV London reported last year.
George had been in and out of jail over the previous decade and was charged with various offences while behind bars, including aggravated assault for alleged attacks on cellmates.
CTV London also reported last fall that on the night Kargus died, the Elgin-Middlesex Detention Centre was not staffed at levels recommended by an internal audit. That audit concluded that each unit should be staffed by at least one correctional officer overnight.
Kargus was serving a sentence for a fraud conviction and was due to be released on Dec. 15. His fiancée told CTV last December that he struggled with addiction, but was committed to turning his life around.
“The person that was killed, unfortunately, it was even more harsh because it wasn’t the guy who did the things to land him in that jail,” Amy Bromoroff said. “It was the guy who was caring for his family, writing love letters, pampering me. He had become that guy again.”
London police said Wednesday that after interviewing detention centre staff and inmates, and reviewing security camera footage from inside the institution, during their investigation into Kargus’s death, they then turned their focus to the actions of correctional officers.
“Information obtained during this investigation determined that a second investigation was required to look into the actions, or lack thereof, of correctional staff leading up to and during the homicide,” police said in the statement.
Correctional Officer Leslie Lonsbary, aged 47; correctional officer Gregory Langford, aged 55; and operational manager Stephen Jurkus, aged 52, are each charged with one count of failing to provide the necessaries of life.
The three accused will make their first court appearance on April 15 at 9:30 a.m.
With a report from CTV London’s Cristina Howorun