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Assault of inmate from Saskatoon at B.C. prison now a homicide investigation

The bars of a prison cell are seen in this image. (Credit: Shutterstock) The bars of a prison cell are seen in this image. (Credit: Shutterstock)
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The Lower Mainland's Integrated Homicide Investigation Team has taken over the investigation into the death of an inmate at a maximum security prison in B.C.'s Fraser Valley last weekend, CTV News has learned.

The Correctional Service of Canada announced Tuesday that an inmate from Kent Institution had died in custody on Nov. 25. 

A few days earlier, the CSC had confirmed that an inmate at the Agassiz prison had been taken to an external hospital for treatment, and BC Emergency Health Services said the prisoner had been airlifted. 

The correctional service did not indicate in its public statements whether the inmate assaulted on Nov. 20 was Dale Ahpay, the inmate who died on Nov. 25.

On Thursday, a CSC spokesperson confirmed that connection in an email to CTV News, but declined to say whether that meant Ahpay's death was a homicide, adding only that the investigation is ongoing.

CTV News contacted Agassiz RCMP, which had been called to investigate the initial assault, but the detachment referred questions to IHIT. This story will be updated if a response from IHIT is received.

In its initial statement about the assault, the CSC said the "assailants have been identified and appropriate actions have been taken."

A search of online court records for both the IHIT and Agassiz RCMP file numbers Friday morning yielded no results, suggesting charges have not yet been laid in the case.

Ahpay was five and a half years into a 12-year, nine-month sentence for attempted murder at the time of his death.

The sentence stemmed from an incident in Saskatoon in June 2015, when Ahpay – who had gang connections – shot victim Devon Cyr in the face with a shotgun from point-blank range.

Ahpay, who was 30 years old at the time, believed he had killed Cyr. The trial judge found he likely would have if his shotgun had been loaded with something heavier than the duck shot it contained.

"Amazingly, Mr. Cyr lived," the sentencing decision reads. 

Earlier this year, Cyr was, himself, sentenced to 14 years in prison for manslaughter in the January 2020 death of Isaiah Allary. 

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