Corrections officer charged in death of inmate William Ahmo: Manitoba RCMP

Manitoba RCMP have charged a corrections officer in the death of an inmate at Headingley Correctional Centre last year.

William Ahmo, 45, died in hospital on Feb. 14, 2021, after a standoff with corrections officers on Feb. 7, 2021.

Following an “extensive investigation,” RCMP arrested and charged 43-year-old Robert Jeffrey Morden in his death. He has been charged with criminal negligence causing death and failing to provide the necessities of life.

The charges have not been proven in court.

RCMP said officers responded to reports of a man who was unresponsive at the correctional centre on Feb. 7 and that same day the Major Crime Services took over the investigation.

Investigators determined there was a “prolonged standoff” between correction officers and an inmate in a common area at the jail.

RCMP said the standoff ended when the correctional centre’s Critical Emergency Response Team took the inmate from the area.

After being taken out of the area, investigators said the inmate, who was identified as Ahmo, became unresponsive and was taken to hospital in medical distress, where he died one week later.

The Chief Medical Examiner’s Office of Manitoba said Ahmo’s death was, “the result of a homicide.” 

In a statement from Ahmo’s family, they say they are “relieved, grateful and cautiously optimistic after learning that the RCMP have charged a correctional officer.”

Ahmo’s mother Darlene thanked RCMP in an emailed statement, saying, “This has been an incredibly hard time for our family. Knowing that we may see the people who took Will from us held accountable gives us hope.” “The RCMP has been respectful to our family through this process, and we are grateful for the professional manner that they conducted the investigation and stayed in contact with us.”

The family said it will be monitoring the criminal proceedings.

“This is only the first step in a long journey to justice and accountability,” the family said.

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