Five inmates accused of being involved in a hostage situation last month at Her Majesty's Penitentiary in St. John's appeared together in a courtroom late Monday afternoon.
Eight sheriff’s officers accompanied Adam Hayden, 26, Justin Christopher Hopkins, 30, Philip James Hollihan, 27, Justin Owens, 23, and Justin Wiseman, 21, as Judge Lois Skanes read out the charges they face in connection to the Aug. 5 incident.
A sixth man, 25-year-old Julian Matthew Squires, was not in the courtroom, but the judge issued a warrant for his arrest. He was released from custody last week after charges against him for another matter were dismissed.
According to a court document, a man was taken hostage that night. The accused were allegedly demanding cigarettes.
All six men will face charges of hostage taking, disguise with intent, interference with lawful use of property, and damage to property exceeding $5,000. Owens and Wiseman each face an additional charge for a breach of recognizance. Hopkins faces an additional charge for breach of an undertaking, while Hollihan is accused of breaching probation.
The five men have been remanded in custody and will make a courtroom appearance by video on Oct. 16.
The Royal Newfoundland Constabulary (RNC) Major Crime Unit has laid charges against five people in relation to a disturbance at Her Majesty’s Penitentiary on Aug. 5.
Shortly after 11 p.m. on Aug. 5, police officers responded to the penitentiary to assist correctional officers in resolving a disturbance.
An incident command structure was put in place including senior officials at HMP, the HMP Emergency Response Team, RNC crisis negotiators, the Public Order Unit, Tactics and Rescue Unit and other specialized RNC resources.
Negotiators established and maintained communication with the inmates and were successful in negotiating a number of them out of the unit. The remaining inmates were removed from the unit without incident by the HMP Emergency Response Team.
Around 4 a.m. on Aug. 6, the disturbance came to a peaceful resolution.
Through the course of the investigation, the RNC Major Crime Unit has charged five inmates at HMP in relation to this disturbance with the following Canadian Criminal Code offences:
• s. 279 (2)(a) hostage taking
• s. 351 (2) disguise with intent
• s. 430 (1)(c) Interference with lawful use of property
• s. 430 (3)(a) damage to property exceeding $5000
The five accused remain in custody and have been scheduled to appear in provincial court this afternoon.