A trio of Stony Mountain Institution inmates have been handed life sentences for a violent attack in which another inmate was stabbed 80 times.
Michael Roulette, 24, James Frederick Allen Sinclair, 22, and Anthony Michael Mitchell, 27, pleaded guilty to attempted murder in connection to the Jan. 7, 2018, incident — one of three premeditated assaults carried out by more than a half-dozen inmates at the same time.
"The attack was clearly part of a larger co-ordinated scheme where each accused knew their role in attacking the victim and executed it without hesitation," Queen’s Bench Justice Chris Martin said at a sentencing hearing Friday. "In this sense, their intent to kill is equivalent to the intent for first-degree murder… That (the victim) survived was pure luck."
The attacks — one of which ended in the death of inmate Max Richard — were all captured on security video.
Court heard Roulette was one of three men who had attacked an inmate using a phone in a common area, when he left to join Sinclair and Mitchell in attacking a second victim in his cell. The attack spilled out of the cell and into the common area, where the three accused proceeded to punch, kick and stab the victim with jail-made weapons.
As the victim lay unconscious on the floor, the three accused "retreated to the opposite end of the cell range, praising each other and being congratulated by other inmates who witnessed the attack," Martin said.
At the time of the attack, Sinclair and Roulette were each serving life sentences for second-degree murder. Mitchell was serving an 18-year sentence, including eight years for a four-on-one attack on another inmate in 2015.
All three come from similarly disadvantaged backgrounds and have ties to the same street gang. Mitchell and Roulette are each described as having significant cognitive deficits.
None of the accused provided any explanation for the attack nor displayed any empathy or remorse, Martin said.
While he was sorry for the circumstances in which the men were raised, Martin said rehabilitation "appears a dim and distant hope."
"Based on their history, abilities and motivation, there is no safe way to say when they will no longer be a danger to society," he said. "The only tool I have in discharging my duty to protect the public, is to ensure they remain under correctional control for as long as possible."
Martin, who last month sentenced three other men to life in prison for Richard’s death, reiterated concerns over increasing violence at the Manitoba prison. In the past 15 months, five inmates have died at the hands of other inmates.
"The safety of prison staff, notably guards, and inmates is essential," Martin said. "To the extent it is missing, prison authorities must be given the support and tools so killings or serious injury do not become the norm."