Multiple arrests have been made in connection to an apparent hostage situation this past summer at Her Majesty’s Penitentiary in St. John’s.
Five inmates were packed into Courtroom 7 at St. John’s provincial court Monday afternoon as Judge Lois Skanes read out the charges they face in connection to an Aug. 5 incident when the accused allegedly demanded cigarettes in exchange for a hostage.
Adam Hayden, 26, Justin Christopher Hopkins, 30, Philip James Hollihan, 27, Justin Owens, 23, and Justin Wiseman, 21, all face charges of hostage taking, disguise with intent, interference with lawful use of property, and damage to property exceeding $5,000.
Skanes also issued a warrant for the arrest of Julian Matthew Squires, 25.
He was in provincial court last Wednesday for a trial concerning his alleged involvement in a theft. Those charges were dismissed, resulting in his release from custody that same day.
Crown prosecutor Lynn Moore told the court that police made multiple attempts to track down Squires at his residence, but could not find him.
Eight sheriff’s officers accompanied the five accused as they appeared in court on Monday. Hopkins and Wiseman sat in the prisoner’s box, while the remaining three suspects were accompanied by sheriff’s officers and sat on benches.
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.
According to a prison guard who spoke to The Telegram shortly after the incident, homemade weapons were used to take a fellow inmates hostage. A court document listing the joint charges identifies one male hostage.
The Royal Newfoundland Constabulary was first called to the scene at 11 p.m. Aug. 5.
Negotiators maintained communications with the inmates for several hours and the matter was reportedly resolved by 4 a.m. the next morning.
The five accused are scheduled to make appearances by video link on Oct. 16.