Man sentenced to life for deaths of couple and grandchild assaulted in jail

Douglas Garland attacked in jail, lawyer says

CALGARY — A man sentenced to spend the rest of his life behind bars for the murder of a Calgary couple and their grandson has been assaulted in jail, according to his lawyer.

Kim Ross said his client Douglas Garland was attacked Friday night in the Calgary Remand Centre where he is awaiting transfer to a federal institution.

Calgary police said a 57-year-old inmate at the jail was seriously injured after being assaulted by several other inmates, but would not identify the man.

Police say the man was treated at the scene and taken to hospital with what were described as non-life-threatening injuries.

Ross said he talked to staff at the remand centre who confirmed the man was Garland, but he said it’s his understanding the assault was minor and that his client would be back at the jail later Saturday.

“It’s disappointing. He’s been in custody for two-and-a-half years and there hasn’t been an incident,” Ross said.

Garland was convicted by a jury on Thursday of killing Alvin and Kathy Liknes and five-year-old Nathan O’Brien in June of 2014. He was sentenced on Friday to life in prison with no chance of parole for 75 years.

Calgary EMS spokesman Stuart Brideaux said emergency responders transported a man in his 50s from the Calgary Remand Centre at 10:20 p.m. Friday. He said the man was in stable, non-life-threatening condition with “soft tissue injuries.”

Police said in a news release that investigators are working with officials from the Alberta government to determine the circumstances of the assault and get further evidence.

The release said details were limited and police wouldn’t be able to release additional information until charges are laid.

The trial was told Garland held a petty grudge against Alvin Liknes over a business dealing they had, and the anger and resentment grew and grew.

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.

Ross said he hasn’t spoken to his client since the assault but that he would likely speak with him this week. A decision on whether to file an appeal in the case has not been made, Ross said.

He said the remand centre has protective custody units and that Garland was being held in an area where he was supposed to be safe.

Dan Laville, a spokesman for Alberta’s Justice and Solicitor General department, said in an email that an internal investigation will also be done in addition to the police one. 

The Canadian Press

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