Posts Tagged ‘ Jeremy Phillips ’

Lawsuit filed in McGray’s Prison Killing


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?


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?

Serial Killer Kills While In Prison. More Information Available.

Serial Killer Kills Cell Mate

I had written before about serial killer Michael Wayne McGray who killed another inmate, Jeremy Phillips. Michael has quite the history.

McGray has six murder convictions, and is serving six concurrent life sentences. One of his last victims, and the youngest, was little Nina Sparks; in 1998, McGray killed both the 11-year-old girl and her mother inside their Moncton, N.B. home.

He was not shy about his killings or about the fact that he could and would kill again.

McGray was also notorious for comments he made to reporters two years later. “Just because I’m locked up in segregation doesn’t mean I can’t kill somebody,” he told the National Post, from a maximum-security penitentiary in Renous, N.B. “I have a chance to kill every day.” Taking human lives, McGray said, was “almost a hunger. It’s something I need. I have to have that physical release. When I kill, it’s a big high for me.”

McGray reportedly did not want a roommate and was vocal about this. It was well known that Jeremy Phillips was afraid of McGray and had asked moved. His request was denied and he is now dead. All of this is raising many questions.

Four months later, RCMP are still investigating his “suspicious” death, which they say, “has indicators of a homicide.”

It could have been prevented, McClain and other inmates claim, had prison authorities heeded flashing warning signs and reacted.

Details of certain events leading to the in-custody death were revealed in this newspaper in December. No one provided answers for why McGray, a 45-year-old serial killer, was moved from a maximum-security institution to the less-restrictive Mountain.

Three Mountain inmates who knew both McGray and Phillips have now come forward with additional information; their corroborating accounts from separate interviews raise more disturbing questions.

Besides pleading with prison officials for a cell reallocation, Phillips discussed his situation with the other inmates. McGray had made it clear that he didn’t want a cellmate, either. He had asked for single-bunk accommodation; none of the three inmates interviewed can understand why his requests were also denied. Cell reallocations are commonplace inside Mountain, where tensions frequently run high. There is no shortage of empty cells inside that prison, they all agree.

“I don’t think these guys are taking me seriously,” McClain recalls McGray telling him, in late November. “What do I have to do?”

On Nov. 21, at five o’clock in the afternoon, the prison went into emergency lockdown, over what was apparently an unrelated incident. All prisoners were secured inside their respective cells. Their cell doors were locked. At regular intervals thereafter, each cell was checked and every inmate was counted by guards walking down each range.

McGray and Phillips were locked in their shared cell, prison staff confirmed to the RCMP. At approximately 10 o’clock the next morning, with lockdown still in effect, Phillips was found dead.

McGray was removed from their shared cell. He is now in another, undisclosed prison location. He has not been charged with the death of Phillips.

I do not know why he has been charged yet, but I am sure it is a matter of ‘red tape’. They have also not released the cause of death.

I keep saying that capital punishment is not just retaliation. It is a matter of public safety.

According to the story another inmate had a diary entry that says that a prison official told Phillips to “suck it up” when he begged to be moved. That official needs to lose his job.

The article is very informative and I hope to hear more about this case soon.


Michael Wayne McGray kills cell mate

Source here.

VANCOUVER — One of Canada’s most heinous and prolific serial killers, Michael Wayne McGray warned he could murder again, even while in prison.

“Just because I’m locked up in segregation doesn’t mean I can’t kill somebody,” he told the National Post’s Graeme Hamilton a decade ago, while sitting inside a federal penitentiary in Renous, N.B. “I have a chance every day.”

Killing, he went on, is “almost a hunger. It’s something I need. I have to have that physical release. When I kill, it’s a big high for me.” The years passed. Convicted of six murders, McGray was moved from prison to prison. Last year he wound up in B.C. He was most recently moved to a medium-security institution, of all places.

And one morning last week, McGray’s new cellmate was found dead.

The RCMP have confirmed that Jeremy Phillips, 33, was murdered. His body was discovered inside the medium-security cell he shared with McGray in Agassiz, B.C. The same cell in which the pair had been locked up the previous night.

The Mounties cannot say if McGray is a suspect in their murder investigation; charges have still not been laid. But the police have concluded their work, says Dale Carr, media spokesman for the RCMP’s Integrated Homicide Team, and they expect an “information package” will be forwarded early next week to the Criminal Justice Branch of B.C.’s Ministry of Attorney General. The Crown will then decide whether to lay a murder charge. One seems likely.

? Really? Are they suspecting someone broke into the cell to murder Phillips? Do think a guard did it? I understand due process but shouldn’t there be some common sense as well?

According to one inmate serving time at Kent, McGray, 45, is a feared convict whose reputation preceded his arrival. He was moved to Kent last year after stints in eastern Canadian prisons. He made an immediate impression on residents of Kent’s M-Unit, a segregated block with single-person cells inhabited mainly by other convicted killers.

“Everyone walked on egg shells around him,” the inmate said in a phone interview Thursday. “I had heard about the guy and the six murders, but I didn’t know he was stone-cold. How he got moved over to Mountain is beyond me. I’ve been trying to get a transfer there for years and I didn’t kill six people.”

Perhaps the only downside to such a transfer might be the living arrangement; most Mountain inmates share a cell. None do in Kent. It’s preferred to have a private cell. Prior to his transfer, the inmate said, McGray made a fuss. He made it clear he did not want a roommate.

Prison authorities had to have heard McGray’s alleged threats, the inmate insisted. Yet he was moved from Kent to the more lax Mountain prison, where three-quarters of its cells have two bunks.

It’s believed that McGray landed in a cell originally meant for one inmate; however, a second bunk was installed due to a space crunch. It was there that McCray met Jeremy Phillips.

According to Corrections Canada and court documents, Phillips was a career criminal serving a six-year, nine-month sentence for aggravated assault and conspiring to commit an indictable offence. After a soured drug deal in March, 2006, he attacked a man with a baseball bat and fractured his skull.

The assault occurred in Moncton, N.B., and by strange coincidence just a few blocks from the address where, eight years earlier, McGray stabbed to death Joan Hicks-Sparks, 48, and murdered her daughter Nina, 11.

Was Phillips being punished? I do not really think that is what happened, but it could be read that way.

The double slaying was front-page news all over New Brunswick. McGray was apprehended by police and charged. In August, 1998, he was flown in custody to Ottawa for a 60-day psychiatric evaluation. A number of assessment reports were submitted to a New Brunswick court prior to McGray’s scheduled trial. One suggested he suffered a serious strain of Tourette syndrome that produced in him an “irresistible urge to kill.” But he was found fit to stand trial.

In October, 1999, while still awaiting trial, McGray was charged in connection with the 1991 deaths of two Montreal men, Robert Assaly and Gaetan Ethier. According to a Montreal police detective, McGray attracted the attention of investigators while inside the Renous, N.B. prison. He was “acting weird and talking to certain people,” said the detective.

McGray had indeed killed the two men; it would be disclosed later that he’d been on a weekend pass from a Montreal prison and was bent on murdering homosexual men. He stabbed to death both victims.

Police investigating other cold murder cases in Canada began looking at McGray as a possible suspect.

In January, 2000, McGray was charged with a fourth slaying, the second-degree murder of Mark Gibbons. The victim had acted as McGray’s accomplice while robbing a Saint John, N.B., taxi driver in 1987; hours after the robbery, McGray stabbed Gibbons to death in a parking lot.

McGray went to trial on the Hicks murders in March 2000. In a sudden turn, he pleaded guilty to killing Joan Hicks-Sparks. In his confession, he said he had experienced an urge to kill, had entered the victim’s home, and had slashed the woman’s throat with a serrated kitchen knife. The attack was entirely unprovoked. His first-degree murder conviction earned him a life sentence in prison with no chance of parole for 25 years.

McGray denied killing his victim’s daughter, Nina Hicks; that murder charge was temporarily stayed. McGray then went on a media interview spree, talking to reporters from newspapers and radio outlets and boasting that he had killed as many as 16 people.

A year later, McGray reversed course and entered a guilty plea in the first-degree murder of Nina Hicks. And by then, he had also confessed to the murders of Messrs. Gibbons, Assaly, and Ethier.

But that wasn’t the end of it. Days after confessing in court to the Nina Hicks murder, McGray pleaded guilty to the murder of a 17-year-old hitchhiker, Elizabeth Gale Tucker, whose decomposed body was found in a Digby County, N.S., field in 1985. McGray was handed his sixth life sentence; all are being served concurrently.

Citing restrictions placed on them by the federal Privacy Act, Corrections Canada officials will say little about their inmate McGray, nor will they discuss why he was moved from prison to prison and then into a medium security institution, where he shared a cell, briefly, with Jeremy Phillips, now deceased.

This story and others like it is part of why I support the death penalty for serial criminals.
By keeping them alive in prison we put the lives of guards, visitors, priests, medical personal, clergy, lawyers and other prisoners at risk.
Serial criminals, especially serial killers can never be trusted. Keeping them locked up for life is like keeping rabid animals alive in a shelter.

Video on Michael W. McGray.

<img src="serial killer,canada” alt=”Michael Wayne McGray” />

Michael McGray is a 34-year-old Nova Scotia-born drifter who has claimed responsibility for 16 slayings across North America.

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