Opening statements begin at trial of guards in death of EMDC inmate
The long-awaited trial of two former Elgin-Middlesex Detention Centre employees charged in connection with an inmate's death got underway Tuesday.
There were numerous legal delays leading up to the start of the trial in a London courtroom.
It’s been more than five years since 29-year-old Adam Kargus was beaten to death while he was being held at EMDC.
The jury heard Tuesday that then-EMDC operational manager Stephen Jurkus and guard Leslie Lonsbary were both on duty around the time Kargus was killed on Oct. 31, 2013.
Kargus’s cellmate Anthony George pleaded guilty to second-degree murder in the case in 2017.
Jurkus and Lonsbary have pleaded not guilty to failing to provide the necessaries of life.
In his opening address Crown Attorney Fraser Kelly said, "[Kargus] was dependent on jail staff to ensure his safety."
Kelly told the jury George was suspected of being intoxicated that night and making a home-brew in cell number three, but "Mr. Jurkus made no notes of the possible brew in the log book."
Kargus was repeatedly beaten and choked over a long period of time and eventually died.
Kelly said, "Lonsbary did walk by cell number three that night, but he didn't even break stride."
Kargus’s mother, who was in attendance, walked out of the courtroom sobbing when the extensive injuries suffered by her son were described.
Kelly told the jury that the beating could be heard by others from their locked cells adding, “Eventually an inmate held up a sign to his window to call 911."
The following morning, Kargus’s body was dragged into the shower area and that's where he was found by the guards.
At the time of his death Kargus was serving a 90-day sentence for fraud. George was doing time for aggravated assault.
There is a long list of witnesses in the case and it is slated to last four weeks.