Four inmates charged for role in Sask. Pen riot last year

Saskatchewan Penitentiary, the site of the beating in 2013. Herald File Photo

Four prisoners appeared in court Wednesday to face charges connected to December’s deadly riot at Saskatchewan Penitentiary.

Julius Beardy, John Linklater, Josh McLaren and Larry Windigo are all charged with participating in a riot. Beardy and McLaren are also alleged to have worn a mask during the violent disturbance, while Linklater was charged with mischief for damaging property.

Windigo is facing all of those charges. He is also accused of obstructing justice by blocking a camera at the penitentiary, as are Linklater and McLaren.

The riot broke out on December 14 in Saskatchewan Penitentiary’s medium security area, when inmates refused to return to their cells for lockdown. They damaged a significant amount of property, setting small fires and leaving the unit uninhabitable.

Guards fired rubber bullets to regain control of the situation. Eight prisoners were injured, and one – Jason Leonard Bird – died, apparently at the hands of other inmates.

The cases against the four accused prisoners were adjourned until October 11. They remain in custody. Crown prosecutor Keith Amyotte was unable to say whether any other charges have been filed, or are expected, in connection with the riot.