Lawsuit filed in McGray’s Prison Killing


Source

Jeremy Phillips was found dead in the cell he shared with Michael McGray at Mountain Institution in B.C. 

Jeremy Phillips was found dead in the cell he shared with Michael McGray at Mountain Institution in B.C

Brian Hutchinson, National Post · Mar. 23, 2011

VANCOUVER — Correctional Service of Canada officials ignored warning signs and mercy pleas before a prison informant forced to bunk with a notorious serial killer was found dead, the deceased’s parents allege in an $11-million lawsuit filed this week in federal court.

Jeremy Phillips, 33, was discovered lying face down in his cell at Mountain Institution, a medium security penitentiary near Aggasiz, B.C. Sitting across from his lifeless body was Michael McGray, 45, one of Canada’s most prolific killers. McGray is serving concurrent life sentences for the six murders he committed during a long spree of violence in Eastern Canada.

Again and again, why the Hell was McGray in a MEDIUM security anything? Even if he was not making threats he is a violent serial killer! No one has explained moving him.

According to a police investigation report, McGray confessed to assaulting Phillips with a “ligature” made from a bed sheet; however, no charges have been laid.

I am curious as to why he has not been charged yet. He confessed, Mr. Phillips is dead. What more is needed to make a charge?

A mandatory Correctional Service of Canada (CSC) internal investigation is underway but the lawsuit filed this week accuses prison staff of “reckless indifference” and negligence. Before his death in November, Phillips had “pleaded with prison officials for a cell relocation as he was terrified of McGray,” the lawsuit reads. “Both McGray and Phillips had asked for single cell accommodation but this was denied even though there was no shortage of empty cells in the prison at the time.”

If there was not a shortage of cells what was the problem? Was it some kind of power play between McGray and prison officials?

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According to his parents’ lawsuit, Phillips was known inside Canada’s prison system as an informant. “The Correctional Service of Canada knew or should have known that being labelled a ‘rat’ puts an inmate in a vulnerable situation for aggression,” the lawsuit reads. “The fact that Phillips and McGray were requesting separate accommodation and the fact the inmates were coming to CSC to seek separate accommodation should have been regarded as a precursor to violence.”

I agree with the Phillips family. This should never have occured. McGray should not have been in this prison. Once Phillips said that he felt threatened he should have been moved at once. If Phillips was known as a rat that just makes it so much worse for the officials that made this series of bad choices .

An RCMP “investigational summary” filed in B.C. Provincial Court describes the scene inside Mountain Institution on November 21, the night before Phillips was discovered dead. A lock-down was in effect; all prisoners were confined to their cells. Phillips and McGray were both counted by prison staff later that evening.

Twelve hours later, reads the RCMP report, McGray called prison officers to the locked cell. “Phillips was observed to be laying on his stomach with his hands at the top of his head,” the report reads. He “was found to be unresponsive, blue, cold and stiff.” He had blood on his face “with trauma around his nose and cheek area.” A prison doctor attended and Phillips was pronounced dead.

Why was there a 12 hour gap? Not that I think it would have saved Phillips life, I am just curious. I know the prison was on lock down but no one checked any of the prisoners for 12 hours?

While escorting McGray to a separate holding cell, a prison official asked if he had assaulted Phillips. “McGray replied, ‘yes.’ McGray further stated to Correctional Manager Brian Mathieson that he used a ligature made from a bed sheet and flushed it down the toilet,” says the RCMP report. “McGray stated that this — the murder of Phillips — took place approximately seven minutes after the count last night.”

The report notes that an RCMP constable arrived to examine the scene and observed marks on the side of the deceased’s face. These marks “appeared to be consistent with being hit by an object. A cat scratch post with exposed staples was also found near Phillips’ bed. The staples appeared to match the marks on Phillips’ face.”

Another question, why was there a cat scratch post in the cell? Do they allow pets? In the cells?

Investigators obtained a search warrant and seized dozens of items from the cell, including bed sheets, the top of the cat scratch post and a pair of McGray’s size-40-waist pants. The RCMP said they found “reasonable grounds to believe that the following offence has been committed: Murder contrary to section 235 of the Criminal Code.”

RCMP spokesman Dale Carr says police have completed their reports and are still “packaging everything up” to send to B.C.’s Attorney General department, which can then determine whether to lay a charge. The Crown will have the police package in about a month, said Cpl. Carr.

I can not imagine that they have any other choice!

McGray, meanwhile, has been transferred to a special handling unit penitentiary in Quebec, where some of Canada’s most dangerous offenders are housed in segregation.

National Post

In my opinion this is where he should have been the entire time. I am so curious as to why he was moved, given a room mate and why there is a cat scratch post in the cell. What the hell is going on in the Canadian prison system?

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