Duo found not guilty of planning to escape custody

Rosie Mullaley rmullaley@thetelegram.com
Published on December 20, 2013
Matthew O’Quinn (left, seated) and Kenneth Edward Green smile at each other after sheriff’s officers ordered them to sit separately for their trial at provincial court in
St. John’s in this Telegram file photo.

Two men facing serious criminal charges have been found not guilty of conspiring to escape custody from the Waterford Hospital last spring.

The verdict was rendered today at provincial court in St. John's in the case of Kenneth Edward Green and Matthew O'Quinn.

Judge Lois Skanes said there was little evidence to suggest the men planned anything. She said to say they did would be “pure speculation.”

The men were patients at the hospital at the time.

Green, 35, was there undergoing a week-long psychiatric evaluation after being arrested for the beating death of Joey Whalen on Tessier Place in the capital city March 13. He faces a second-degree murder charge.

O’Quinn, 37, had been there for more than a month for evaluation as a possible dangerous offender after he was arrested for break and enters and an assault on a woman on the west coast of the province.

Staff members, including several nurses, from the Waterford Hospital testified during the trial as to what they say happened the night of March 23 and the days leading up to it.

Many told the court that O’Quinn and Green had gone to bed with their street clothes on under their pajamas. They also had their sneakers on in bed. When staff searched their room, they found a number of bed sheets tied together, stuffed inside a pillow case on O’Quinn’s bed. Nurses also found a shoe lace in O’Quinn’s sneaker, with a slip knot tied in it.

Green will be arraigned in Newfoundland Supreme Court in the new year.