Inmates charged in riot go to trial in April

Sat. Oct 10 – 4:46 AM

Eight inmates charged after a riot caused $30,000 damage to the province’s largest jail in April won’t go to trial until next spring.

About 60 inmates went on a rampage at the Central Nova Scotia Correctional Facility in Dartmouth for more than five hours on April 8. Fires were set, property was smashed and guards were threatened with shards of glass.

After a six-week investigation, police charged eight men believed to have been the main participants.

Joshua Earl Denomme, 25, Steven James Meekins, 27, Shawn Michael Shea, 29, Sean Ryan Gordon, 20, Aaron Gregory Marriott, 19, Lee Corey Elliott, 34, Chad Albert Stevenson, 33, and Stephen Ryan LeBlanc, 19, are charged with rioting, mischief causing property damage and failing to obey an order to disperse.

Mr. Denomme, Mr. Meekins, Mr. Shea and Mr. Gordon are also charged with arson and committing mischief endangering the lives of jail staff and inmates.

Mr. Denomme is further accused of assaulting a corrections officer with a homemade axe and possession of a weapon for a dangerous purpose.

All eight men initially chose to be tried before a judge without a jury in Nova Scotia Supreme Court, but a Dartmouth provincial court judge was told Friday that the men had changed their minds.

Their five-day trial is now scheduled for Dartmouth provincial court on April 6-7 and 12-14.

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