Six inmates suspected of being involved in a hostage-taking at the province’s biggest prison last summer have pleaded not guilty to charges laid against them.
Julian Matthew Squires, 26, Adam Hayden, 26, Justin Christopher Hopkins, 30, Philip James Hollihan, 28, Justin Owens, 24, and Justin Wiseman, 22, all appeared via video link from Her Majesty’s Penitentiary (HMP) Wednesday at provincial court.
Their lawyers were in the courtroom — Nick Avis (for Squires), Mark Gruchy (Hayden), Jeff Brace (Hopkins), Andrew Conway (Hollihan) and Jon Noonan (Wiseman). Ken Mahoney, who represents Owens, wasn’t there.
Avis told Judge Jim Walsh that all six accused and their lawyers have agreed to be tried at provincial court.
Their trial is set to begin March 20. It’s expected to last about two weeks.
All six inmates face charges of hostage-taking, disguise with intent, interference with lawful use of property and damage to property exceeding $5,000. Some also face charges of breaching court orders.
They were charged in connection with an Aug. 5 incident at HMP. The men allegedly demanded cigarettes in exchange for a hostage.