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Suit: Prisoners watched brutal murder. They want $8.6M for it

The death is at the center of an $8.6M lawsuit brought by several inmates who are suffering from PTSD


Joshua Tehee
The Fresno Bee

ONTARIO, Canada — Adam Kargus was choked, punched, kicked and stomped to death over the course of an hour while in custody at the Elgin Middlesex Detention Centre in Ontario, Canada.

His fellow inmates shouted and banged on their doors for help, but to no avail.

The security video from the Elgin Middlesex Detention Centre shows inmate Anthony George place his cellmate Adam Kargus in a chokehold at least four times, often in full view of other inmates. (Ontario Superior Court of Justice)
The security video from the Elgin Middlesex Detention Centre shows inmate Anthony George place his cellmate Adam Kargus in a chokehold at least four times, often in full view of other inmates. (Ontario Superior Court of Justice)

Guards finally discovered Kargus’s body in jail’s shower area the following day, according to CBC, which has video of the attack.

It shows George dragging and hiding the body, which was wrapped in a bed sheet.

Six staff members were fired after Kargus’s death and in October George was sentenced to life in prison, according to the CBC.

Now the death is at the center of an $8.6 million lawsuit brought by several inmates who are suffering from post-traumatic stress and other symptoms of psychological trauma caused by the incident. International Business Times reported that several inmates heard Kargus “scream in pain, yell for help, plead to be released from the cell and at one point cry out that he was being raped.” They heard the killer brag about the murder the next day. Following the attack, the prisoners were forced to stay in their cells for up to two weeks and did not receive any professional counselling from authorities, according to the suit.

“It was so gruesome and long-lasting and they were so helpless to do anything that no matter how hardened or how many other horrible experiences they might have gone through, this was by far the worst and most devastating to their psyche,” said Kevin Egan, the lawyer who filed the suit.

One inmate, in an interview with The London Free Press, said he didn’t know how he was going to deal with what he had witnessed.

“I’ve been involved in organized crime. I’ve done all kinds of things for money,” he said.

This isn’t the first time the detention center has come under scrutiny, according to the CBC. The facility, which was originally built for 150 inmates but now houses up to 450 (both convicted prisoners and those awaiting trail) is nicknamed “The Devil’s Playground.” It has long been criticized for being understaffed and lacking in programs and proper health care for inmates, the CBC wrote.

This isn’t the first questionable death of an inmate, either.

There have been 10 such deaths since 2009, according to the CBC.

©2017 The Fresno Bee (Fresno, Calif.)

McClatchy-Tribune News Service

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