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The Crown's Case

Crown Counsel Jack Gibson called a number of correctional officers in support of the prosecution's case. Officer Chicoyne, who was in charge of B unit on February 22, 1994, testified that Unit Manager Dewar asked him to go to J unit to see if Mr. Allen was ready to come out to general population. Mr. Chicoyne met with Mr. Allen, who was agitated and asked a lot of questions about the mood of the general population with reference to his coming out. Mr. Chicoyne told Mr. Allen that he was not aware of any particular dangers, but that there were rumours. Mr. Allen asked, "Where is it coming from? What am I going to be looking at?" Mr. Chicoyne asked Mr. Allen if he was prepared to come out. Gary Allen "hemmed and hawed," threw his hands up, and said, "Okay. Let's do it." When Mr. Allen was released to B unit he asked for and received a parka. The units were unlocked for lunch at around 12:10 p.m. Mr. Chicoyne stayed in the office of B unit, looked out the window, and saw Gary Allen conversing with a group of prisoners. He did not, however, see the fight.

Officer Titus was working in B unit on the morning Mr. Allen was released from segregation. Gary Allen arrived in B unit at 10:30 a.m. During his range walk, which he did once an hour, Mr. Titus noticed Gary Allen keeping to himself in his cell, which was somewhat unusual because he had free access to other prisoners in the unit. Darryl Bates was Mr. Allen's only visitor. Mr. Titus was in the courtyard during the lunch hour as part of his normal duties. He noticed a number of prisoners going over to Gary Allen and talking with him. He testified that he found the manner of these conversations unusual, indicating trouble. He attempted to contact the IPSO by phone and, failing to get an answer, he contacted Correctional Supervisor Greer, who advised him that there were no special monitoring orders on Mr. Allen but that he should keep observing the situation.

Mr. Titus saw Hughie MacDonald come out of either C or D unit and quickly go down the steps leading to the courtyard. Hughie MacDonald and Gary Allen came close together, and Mr. Titus observed Gary Allen backing up rapidly, moving side to side, across the courtyard. In cross-examination, he said he did not see any blows struck and could recall no initial physical contact. He testified that Hughie MacDonald came forward with his arms moving in a punching fashion. Hughie MacDonald moved at a fast pace and Gary Allen was stepping backward, side to side, fending off blows. Mr. MacDonald's jabbing motions were numerous and continuous. Mr. Titus stepped into the A unit office, told the officer there what was happening and then returned to the scene. By that time the incident was over, and Mr. MacDonald was restrained face down on the ground. In cross-examination, Mr. Titus stated that when Mr. MacDonald first came out into the courtyard Mr. Titus was also watching other prisoners, because he had suspected trouble.

Officer Gordon testified that he was in the courtyard when another officer yelled, "Fight." He turned around and saw Gary Allen running or moving quickly, backwards, being pursued by Hughie MacDonald. Mr. Allen was protecting himself with his hands up and Mr. MacDonald was thrusting. As the officers approached him, Mr. Gordon could see that Mr. MacDonald had a "shank." Mr. Allen ended up on the ground on his back, at which point Mr. Gordon was two to three feet from his head. Mr. MacDonald knelt down, right knee to right knee; he still had the knife and was making thrusting motions with it towards Mr. Allen's chest. Mr. Gordon saw it contact Mr. Allen's parka in the upper chest area. He testified that he saw Mr. Allen kick the knife from Mr. MacDonald's hand and it fell between Mr. Allen's legs. Mr. Gordon moved to Mr. Allen's left side, thinking that he could grab the knife. However, Mr. MacDonald retrieved the knife. Someone yelled, "Kick the shank," and Mr. Gordon kicked at Mr. MacDonald's elbow area to distract him. The knife flew out of Mr. MacDonald's hand and landed near Mr. Gordon's feet. Mr. Gordon grabbed the knife, took it to the window of F unit and passed it to another officer. He then returned to the fight and held down Mr. MacDonald's legs. Mr. MacDonald was face down on the grass with other officers on top of him. Mr. Gordon testified that he never saw Mr. Allen strike Mr. MacDonald, but in cross-examination he conceded that he did not see the start of the fight.

Officer Beacon was working in the F unit office on February 22 during lunch time. He was sitting at the desk, facing away from the window. He heard a loud noise, turned, looked out and saw two prisoners struggling. At the same time he heard "A fight in the courtyard" over the radio. He saw a shank in Hughie MacDonald's right hand. At this point the prisoners were twenty to thirty feet away from Mr. Beacon and Mr. Allen was backing up, trying to ward Mr. MacDonald off. When Mr. Beacon saw the weapon, he left his office and went out into the courtyard. He got within two to three feet of the two prisoners; Mr. MacDonald still had the shank in his hand. Mr. MacDonald was trying to stab Mr. Allen, who was trying to fend Mr. MacDonald off. The shank was kicked out of Mr. MacDonald's hand, then retrieved by Mr. MacDonald but almost immediately kicked out of his hand again. Mr. MacDonald was stabbing with a thrusting motion. After Mr. MacDonald was restrained, Mr. Beacon asked Mr. Allen, "Are you okay?" Mr. Allen said, "No," and opened his parka. There was a spot of blood the size of a loonie on his chest. Mr. Beacon and Mr. Titus picked Mr. Allen up. Mr. Allen was losing a lot of blood. Mr. Beacon pressed his left hand to Mr. Allen's chest to stem the flow of blood; but this did not seem to have much effect. The two men then carried Mr. Allen into the Health Care Unit. Mr. Beacon testified that it was "the most [blood] I'd ever seen." (Although no mention of this was made at the trial, it is important to recognize that Officer Beacon's effort to stem the flow of blood was a spontaneous humanitarian action that placed him at considerable risk, in light of the fact that Gary Allen was a known drug user.)

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Stan Beacon