10 Correctional Officers Charged Following Death of Indigenous Man in N.L. Jail

December 22, 2020 Updated: December 22, 2020

ST. JOHN’S, N.L.—Ten correctional officers have been charged with crimes ranging from manslaughter to criminal negligence causing death in connection with the 2019 death of an Inuk man in a St. John’s jail.

The charges follow the death of Jonathan Henoche, a 33−year−old Inuk man from Labrador, who died at Her Majesty’s Penitentiary on Nov. 6, 2019, after an alleged altercation with correctional officers. He had been awaiting trial on charges including first-degree murder in relation to the 2016 death of an 88-year-old woman in Labrador.

Shortly after Henoche died, police announced his death was being investigated as a homicide.

The Royal Newfoundland Constabulary said Tuesday in a news release one officer is charged with manslaughter and failure to provide necessities of life; two officers are charged with manslaughter; and the remaining seven officers are charged with criminal negligence causing death.

The officers facing charges range in age 28 to 51. Two of the officers facing criminal negligence charges are women, both in their 30s. Police say the accused officers were released from custody on certain conditions, and will appear in provincial court on Feb. 11, 2021.

RNC Const. James Cadigan said the correctional officers’ identities will not be released until the charges are sworn in court, which must happen before their February court date.

By Sarah Smellie