Defence lawyer blasts those who cheered the beating of a convicted murderer

Lawyer calls killer's beating wrong

CALGARY — A criminal defence lawyer who has raised concerns in the past about safety at a Calgary jail says people shouldn’t be happy that a convicted murderer in a high-profile case was beaten there.

“Convicted or not, he’s entitled to protection and basic human rights. Even if he didn’t show that to his victims,” said Balfour Der, who added some of his own clients have also been attacked at the jail and at other facilities.

Douglas Garland was sentenced Friday to spend the rest of his life behind bars for killing Alvin and Kathy Liknes and five-year-old Nathan O’Brien in 2014.

Hours after the sentencing, Calgary police said a 57-year-old inmate at the Calgary Remand Centre suffered serious injuries and was taken to hospital after being assaulted by several other inmates. Garland’s lawyer, Kim Ross, has confirmed it was his client.

Some of the reaction on social media cheered on the attack, saying Garland deserved it.

Police are still investigating.

“If there’s members of the public who think, yeah, that’s good, I’m glad this happened, or whatever they may think about it, they are absolutely, totally wrong,” Der said in an interview Sunday.

“It’s not what we should ever expect should happen in a Canadian jail.”

In September, Alvin Clifford Chiniquay, 40, died in hospital two weeks after a beating at the facility. An inmate has been charged with first-degree murder in the death.

Ross said Saturday that Garland was being held in an area that should have been safe and called the attack “disappointing,” noting that Garland had been in custody for over two years awaiting trial without an incident.

He said he believed Garland’s injuries were not serious.

Dan Laville, a spokesman for Alberta’s justice and solicitor general ministry, wouldn’t release the specific details of Garland’s custody at the facility, citing privacy concerns.

But Laville said that generally, placement decisions include an assessment that considers security needs and also involves collaboration with health professionals.

Laville said inmates go through a process to ensure those who are known to be incompatible are kept separate.

“Correctional centres can be a difficult, sometimes volatile environment, and correctional peace officers are trained professionals who both try to anticipate and prevent incidents when possible, and who react quickly and appropriately when an incident occurs,” Laville said in an email.

Der said he understands that protective custody at the Calgary Remand Centre means an inmate is kept in a cell 23 hours a day.

He said it would natural to have Garland in protective custody because the case involved a child, two other victims and the gruesome details of the case has been in the news for weeks.

The trial was told Garland held a petty grudge against Alvin Liknes over a business dealing they had.

Justice David Gates said during sentencing that Garland carried out the murders with meticulous planning and precision, attacking them in their home, then took them to his farm, where he killed and dismembered them, burning their remains.

“He would be an obvious target for violence from other inmates. You would think and you would hope that authorities would do everything they could to give that man some protection while he’s in custody,” Der said.

Ross said a decision hasn’t been made yet on whether Garland will file an appeal.

—by Rob Drinkwater in Edmonton

 

 

 

The Canadian Press

Just Posted

Kelowna airport improvement fee rising again

Growth at the airport is prompting a $5 hike to YLW’s $15 AIF

Price of selling pot in Kelowna won’t be cheap

City sets annual business licence fee for cannabis retail stores at $9,465

Crash knocks out power for thousands in Lake Country

BC Hydro said 2,022 customers are impacted by the outage

In depth: Simple falls causing serious injuries to people over 65

Kelowna’s high population of seniors puts it in the spotlight for how it deals with seniors’ issues

UPDATE: Sagmoen to stand trial

Curtis Wayne Sagmoen will appear on all three Vernon matters this week

More snow to kick off the week

The Okanagan and Shuswap will see a light dusting of snow Monday night

Climate change, receding glaciers increase landslide risk on B.C.’s Mount Meager

Climate change is causing glaciers atop Mount Meager, in British Columbia, to shrink increasing the chances of landslides and even a new eruption, says one expert.

UK’s May lobbies EU leaders in fight to save Brexit deal

Top European Union officials ruled out Tuesday any renegotiation of the divorce agreement with Britain.

Former Canadian diplomat detained in China amid rising tensions: reports

A former Canadian diplomat has been arrested in China, according to media reports and the international think tank he works for.

Snowfall warning issued for Coquihalla, Highway 3

Environment Canada says up to 25 cm expected by Monday night

Time magazine’s 2018 person of the year

The group is made up of four journalists and are the “guardians and the war on truth”

Trump to meet with Democrats about border wall, shutdown

US president wants $5 billion for border wall, while Democrats offer up about $1.3 billion for fencing and other security measures

Okanagan film set to stream across North America

The Orchard is going to be streaming on all major platforms

Federal government plans examination of coerced sterilization

The Liberals have been pressed for a rapid response to recent reports on the sterilizations

Most Read