Two men suspected of being involved in a riot and hostage-taking at Her Majesty’s Penitentiary (HMP) in St. John’s last summer will stand trial.
That decision was made today at provincial court in St John’s at the conclusion of the preliminary inquiry for Justin Wiseman, 22, and Adam Hayden, 26.
An inquiry determines whether there’s enough evidence to bring the case to trial. It’s also an opportunity for lawyers to gauge the strength of the evidence against their clients.
Hayden and Wiseman will be tried on charges of hostage-taking, having their faces masked and interfering with the lawful use of property. Wiseman is also charged with mischief by damaging HMP property worth more than $5,000.
The trial date has not been set.
The two were charged as a result of a riot at the prison on Aug. 5, 2013.
Four others were charged and have pleaded guilty.
Julian Matthew Squires, 26, admitted to hostage-taking, as well as mischief by causing property damage exceeding $5,000.
He was sentenced to 18 months behind bars.
Justin Owens, 24, and Philip James Hollihan, 28, pleaded guilty to obstructing, interrupting or interfering with the lawful use or operation of property. Owens was sentenced to six months in jail. Hollihan was sentenced to eight months.
Justin Hopkins, 30, pleaded guilty to mischief by causing property damage exceeding $5,000. He was sentenced to a year and 15 days.
According to the facts presented in Hopkins’ case, the prisoners involved in the riot threatened to kill hostages and corrections officers.
The group’s rampage caused close to $100,000 in damage to the unit 3B at HMP.
When police arrived, inmates were yelling through the window that they had hostages.
One of the inmates told a negotiator that if they didn’t get cigarettes, they were going to cut the hostages’ throats.
When officers delivered the cigarettes, the hostages were released. The inmates surrendered shortly afterwards.