In small groups, they were paraded into the courtroom.
Nine of them in all faced the judge on charges laid as a result of a riot that broke out at Her Majesty’s Penitentiary (HMP) a few months ago.
Philip Wayne Pynn, Calvin Clifford Kenny, Justin Harvey, Jody Clarke, Justin Wiseman, Devon Hubert Dominix, Christopher Sutton, Brian Thomas Grech and Paul Connolly all appeared in provincial court in St. John’s Wednesday.
“SJMS, mother f--kers!” Pynn shouted to reporters, who were filming them as they were led into Courtroom No. 7.
Minutes later, when the next group came from the holding cells, Wiseman shouted, “St. John’s mob, baby!”
Sources told The Telegram that the men were referring to the St. John’s mob squad, a group of HMP inmates who have banded together to form a gang.
It took more than an hour to get them all through court and their cases processed.
Security was tight during the afternoon until the men’s cases were concluded and they were transported back to HMP. Up to a dozen RNC officers, along with several sheriff’s officers, gathered in various places on the fourth floor of Atlantic Place, as many of the men charged have histories of violence.
The men are suspected of having been involved in a riot that was sparked by a violent attack on another inmate, accused murderer Kenny Green.
It happened Feb. 9 in the HMP chapel, where several inmates had gathered for the weekly Sunday service. Some of them were said to have carried out a planned assault on Green using homemade weapons, including sections of the chapel’s pew.
Some of the prisoners involved in the altercation were taken to hospital with non-life-threatening injuries, which were believed to be lacerations and stab wounds. Green was not seriously injured.
Green was first jailed in March of last year in connection with the beating death of 47-year-old Joey Whalen. Whalen died in hospital on St. Patrick’s Day, two days after he was reportedly beaten at a notorious Tessier Place drug house in downtown St. John’s.
Green has pleaded not guilty to a charge of second-degree murder.
Pynn — who also faces second-degree murder charges in connection with the July 2011 shooting death of Nick Winsor — faces charges of taking part in a riot and assault causing bodily harm to Green.
Kenny, Harvey, Clarke and Wiseman face the same charges.
Harvey is also charged with assault with a weapon, while Clarke also faces one count of breaching probation. Connolly is charged with assault with a weapon and assault causing bodily harm.
Dominix is charged with two counts of assault (on Pynn and Clarke) and breaching probation. Sutton is charged with one count of assault (on inmate Adam Hayden) and Grech is charged with assault.
All nine were remanded into custody.
In addition, 10 men — including four suspected in the attack on Green — were arrested and charged in relation to another incident that happened at the HMP on Feb. 20.
Connolly, Wiseman, Sutton and Harvey were charged with mischief by damaging property under $5,000 in relation to that incident. The other six men charged were Jason Earl Marsh, Justin Owens, Justin Christopher Hopkins, Julian Matthew Squires, Philip James Hollihan and Nicholas Gardias.
All appeared in court Wednesday, with the exception of Gardias, who had since been released from custody. A warrant has been issued for his arrest.
All the men involved in both incidents are due back in court May 7, except for Hollihan, who has a bail hearing scheduled for May 8.
RNC major crime officers are continuing the investigation into both incidents. Anyone who may have any information is asked to contact the RNC at 729-8000 or Crime Stoppers at 1-800-222-TIPS (8477).
Information can also be provided anonymously by logging onto the NL Crime Stoppers website at www.nlcrimestoppers.com.