10 correctional officers face criminal charges in death of Indigenous inmate in St. John’s

Ten correctional officers are facing criminal charges in the death of an Indigenous inmate in St. John’s, including three men charged with manslaughter.

Seven more correctional officers are facing charges of criminal negligence causing death after Jonathan Henoche, 33, was killed inside Her Majesty’s Penitentiary in St. John’s on Nov. 6, 2019.

The details of what happened at the time of his death remain sparse, but sources previously told CBC that two guards went to Henoche’s cell and a physical altercation ensued.

He was then taken to a segregated unit, and was later pronounced dead.

The names of the correctional officers are not being released, but their ages and charges are as follows:

  • 51-year-old man: manslaughter and failure to provide necessaries of life.
  • 35-year-old man: manslaughter.
  • 30-year-old man: manslaughter.
  • 44-year-old man: criminal negligence causing death.
  • 41-year-old man: criminal negligence causing death.
  • 38-year-old woman: criminal negligence causing death.
  • 36-year-old woman: criminal negligence causing death.
  • 34-year-old man: criminal negligence causing death.
  • 28-year-old man: criminal negligence causing death.
  • 28-year-old man: criminal negligence causing death.

All of them were arrested, then immediately released and given a summons to appear in court on Feb. 11. 

Three correctional officers at Her Majesty’s Penitentiary have been charged with manslaughter in relation to Henoche’s death, while seven others have been charged with negligence causing death. (Mark Quinn/CBC)

Henoche died awaiting 1st-degree murder trial

Henoche, an Inuk man from Nain, N.L., was in custody in St. John’s while awaiting a first-degree murder trial. He was accused of killing Regula Schule, 88, in 2016. 

Schule, a well-respected community leader, was found unresponsive in her Happy Valley Goose Bay, N.L., home during a fire on July 24, 2016.

Henoche was transferred to St. John’s as a precautionary measure, and was being held in protective custody at the time of his death last November.

A month later, the province’s chief medical examiner ruled his death was a homicide. The Royal Newfoundland Constabulary’s major case management team handled the investigation.

Lawyer Bob Buckingham is representing Henoche’s family members as they explore a civil suit over his death. He said the family cried tears of relief when they learned of the arrests on Monday.

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