Gang 'discipline' excessive, killed Stony inmate: Crown
AN inmate at Stony Mountain penitentiary was killed behind bars by members of his own gang who took a violent "disciplinary hearing" too far.
Crown attorney Brian Bell told jurors Monday that David Tavares wasn't originally marked for death when a high-ranking decision was made to go after him inside the medium-security prison north of Winnipeg. But Bell said the March 2005 attack quickly got out of hand and ended with Tavares suffering massive trauma.
Four men are on trial for their alleged roles in the slaying. Victor Ryle is accused of ordering the attack and has pleaded not guilty to manslaughter. Alvin Cote, Charles Coaster and Evan Myran allegedly carried out the fatal beating and are charged with second-degree murder.
"The charges are serious, but the evidence is pretty straightforward," Bell said in his opening statement.
Tavares, 40, was jumped while in a prison recreation room. He was punched and fell to the floor near some pool tables, where he was repeatedly kicked in the head. The attackers dragged him to a washroom. The unconscious Tavares was only found after the recreation centre was closed for the day and staff were making sure everybody was out. He was taken to the infirmary, where he was pronounced dead.
Tavares was in Stony Mountain serving a 39-month sentence for driving-related offences. Bell said Monday he had become a member of the Native Syndicate while in prison but had angered fellow gang members by his conduct, which included openly complaining about several people owing him money.
Tavares had also obtained contraband alcohol and was drinking on the day he was killed, Bell said.
"A decision was taken to discipline Tavares by assaulting him... in the form of a time beating," he said. One of the Crown's key witnesses is another gang member who was in Stony and claims he was tasked with "timing" the attack. The accused were much bigger than Tavares, who only stood about 5-foot-10 and weighed about 190 pounds, court was told.
Bell told jurors they will hear lots of evidence about the inner workings of the gang, especially behind bars. The trial is expected to last three weeks.
Tavares is originally from Thunder Bay and had been jailed after a June 28, 2000 drunk-driving incident is which his pickup truck, leaving Sleeping Giant Provincial Park in Ontario, went out of control and rolled over, injuring its occupants.
This article is biased in that it fails to state the defence lawyers' opening arguments.
This is yet another prime example of how prisons are the schools of crime, teaching non-violent offenders to become better criminals, with new skills to the point where they become involved in drugs and gangs. They are then released, with an increased chance of re-offending.