Coroner investigates inmate death at Stony Mountain Institution

An inmate has died at the federal Stony Mountain Institution in Manitoba, the Correctional Service of Canada announced Wednesday.

Melvis Owen died on Tuesday. The cause of death has not been disclosed.

“Any time that we have a death in custody, it is taken very, very seriously,” acting deputy warden Bill Melnyk said.

“Any loss of life is a tragedy, and so we’re taking this seriously and we’ll continue to investigate and review the circumstances around this incident.”

Owens had been incarcerated at the prison since Aug. 14, 2018. serving a sentence of five years, five months for assault causing bodily harm.

Stony Mountain Institution has had the most inmates test postivie for COVID-19 among Manitoba correctional institutions.

Stony Mountain Institution has the highest number of inmate COVID-19 cases among Manitoba correctional facilities. (Cameron MacLean/CBC)

Melnyk said he couldn’t comment on the cause of Owen’s death or his medical condition prior to his death.

He did confirm that Owen was being held in the medium security unit at the prison, which is where all 214 inmate cases have been. 

“We will disclose, once we know, if it is linked to COVID-19, but at this time, we can’t disclose that until the coroner’s office determines the cause of death.”

As of Dec. 15, the Correctional Service of Canada reported two inmate COVID-19 deaths in federal prisons — one at the Federal Training Centre in Quebec, and one at the Mission Institution in British Columbia.

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