WINNIPEG — Manitoba RCMP say they have charged a corrections officer in the death of a 45-year-old inmate at the Headingley Correctional Centre.
RCMP say William Ahmo from Sagkeeng First Nation died on Feb. 14, 2021, after a prolonged standoff with corrections officers in a common area within the facility.
A news release by the RCMP says Ahmo became unresponsive when corrections officers tried to remove him from the common area, and he was transported in medical distress to hospital, where he died about 10 days later.
Police did not disclose his cause of death or details of his injuries, but they say an autopsy by the Chief Medical Examiner's Office determined the death to be the result of a homicide.
Robert Jeffrey Morden, a 43-year-old man from Rockwood, Man., was arrested Friday and charged with criminal negligence causing death and failing to provide the necessities of life.
Ahmo’s family says in a statement they have hope now that the corrections officer may be held accountable for the death.
"The RCMP has been respectful to our family through this process, and we are grateful for the professional manner that they conducted the investigation and stayed in contact with us," Ahmo's mother, Darlene Ahmo, said in the statement Friday.
The family also said they will be monitoring the criminal proceedings and will assist prosecutors whenever they can.
"We expect an inquest will also be announced shortly but will not begin its proceedings until after the criminal charges are dealt with," the statement said.
"This is only the first step in a long journey to justice and accountability."
This report by The Canadian Press was first published Jan. 21, 2022.
The Canadian Press