Alleged Fredericton shooter seemed 'utterly normal'

A man accused of shooting and killing four people outside his Fredericton apartment building seemed “utterly normal,” according to a woman who helped him fill out a rental application.

Matthew Vincent Raymond, 48, always smiled and made friendly small talk when he paid his rent in person each month, said Judith Aguilar, an office manager at Sunfield Apartment Rentals. 

“It’s very surprising,” she said.

“He didn’t seem like a disturbed individual in any way.”

The company manages the four apartment buildings that make up 237 Brookside Drive, the location of Friday’s shooting. Raymond had been living in the complex’s C building for four months, Aguilar said.

Donnie Robichaud also lived in the apartment complex. The 42-year-old father and musician has been identified as one of the four victims of Friday’s shooting, along with his 32-year-old girlfriend Bobbie Lee Wright and two Fredericton police officers, Const. Robb Costello, 45, and 43-year-old Const. Sara Burns.

So far, police haven’t established a link between the alleged gunman and any of his victims.

Donnie Robichaud, 42, is being remembered for his generosity and kind heart. (Facebook)“That is a piece of information that we’re looking to establish,” Martin Gaudet, Fredericton’s deputy police chief, told reporters on Saturday.

Alleged shooter used long gun

Raymond didn’t raise any red flags with Aguilar.

She first met him when he filled out an application to live at the building. Aguilar believes he was living alone.

When he visited the rental company’s office, she said Raymond always wore sunglasses and his bike helmet. He cycled everywhere and told her his bike was expensive.

Police haven’t released many details about Raymond, saying only that he allegedly shot the victims from an elevated position using a long gun. He was not known to police.

“Everyone in the company that met him thought he was really pleasant,” Aguilar said.

“Sometimes you meet people and they can be aggressive or they can give you this weird vibe or something. He seemed utterly normal. It was very shocking.”

Bullet holes riddle a window in an apartment building in Fredericton on Friday, Aug. 10, 2018. Two city police officers were among four people who died in a shooting in the residential area on the city’s north side. (Andrew Vaughan/Canadian Press)

The rental company has been told it may be able to get into the building to do repairs as early as Monday afternoon.

But tenants at the apartment complex aren’t sure when they’ll be able to return home for good, Aguilar said.

As the shooting unfolded on Friday morning, the rental company had to call each tenant to tell them to lock their doors and stay away from the windows.

“A lot of the tenants are quite upset and traumatized at the moment,” Aguilar said.

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Alleged Fredericton shooter seemed 'utterly normal'

A man accused of shooting and killing four people outside his Fredericton apartment building seemed “utterly normal,” according to a woman who helped him fill out a rental application.

Matthew Vincent Raymond, 48, always smiled and made friendly small talk when he paid his rent in person each month, said Judith Aguilar, an office manager at Sunfield Apartment Rentals. 

“It’s very surprising,” she said.

“He didn’t seem like a disturbed individual in any way.”

The company manages the four apartment buildings that make up 237 Brookside Drive, the location of Friday’s shooting. Raymond had been living in the complex’s C building for four months, Aguilar said.

Donnie Robichaud also lived in the apartment complex. The 42-year-old father and musician has been identified as one of the four victims of Friday’s shooting, along with his 32-year-old girlfriend Bobbie Lee Wright and two Fredericton police officers, Const. Robb Costello, 45, and 43-year-old Const. Sara Burns.

So far, police haven’t established a link between the alleged gunman and any of his victims.

Donnie Robichaud, 42, is being remembered for his generosity and kind heart. (Facebook)“That is a piece of information that we’re looking to establish,” Martin Gaudet, Fredericton’s deputy police chief, told reporters on Saturday.

Alleged shooter used long gun

Raymond didn’t raise any red flags with Aguilar.

She first met him when he filled out an application to live at the building. Aguilar believes he was living alone.

When he visited the rental company’s office, she said Raymond always wore sunglasses and his bike helmet. He cycled everywhere and told her his bike was expensive.

Police haven’t released many details about Raymond, saying only that he allegedly shot the victims from an elevated position using a long gun. He was not known to police.

“Everyone in the company that met him thought he was really pleasant,” Aguilar said.

“Sometimes you meet people and they can be aggressive or they can give you this weird vibe or something. He seemed utterly normal. It was very shocking.”

Bullet holes riddle a window in an apartment building in Fredericton on Friday, Aug. 10, 2018. Two city police officers were among four people who died in a shooting in the residential area on the city’s north side. (Andrew Vaughan/Canadian Press)

The rental company has been told it may be able to get into the building to do repairs as early as Monday afternoon.

But tenants at the apartment complex aren’t sure when they’ll be able to return home for good, Aguilar said.

As the shooting unfolded on Friday morning, the rental company had to call each tenant to tell them to lock their doors and stay away from the windows.

“A lot of the tenants are quite upset and traumatized at the moment,” Aguilar said.

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Outlaw biker gangs building roots in Atlantic Canada

Two rival motorcycle gangs have had at least five violent clashes in New Brunswick over the last year and a half, according to new information from a Nova Scotia police unit that investigates outlaw motorcycle gangs.

But police won’t comment on the nature of the alleged violence between the Hells Angels and the Outlaws, bitter rivals competing for territory in an eastern expansion.

Both clubs have spent the last few years establishing roots in Atlantic Canada, starting with the Angels, the largest and most powerful motorcycle gang in Canada.

Aside from being untapped territory, the Angels are likely interested in the region because of its port access, said Julian Sher, an author who has written several books on the Angels.

“If you’re in the trafficking business, why wouldn’t you want to be next to a port?” Sher said.

The Angels have a chapter of Nomads in New Brunswick made up of several high-ranking, full-patch members transplanted to the province without creating a formal clubhouse.

On Canada Day, the organization also opened up new Moncton and Halifax chapters of a club called the Red Devils, according to a presentation created by Nova Scotia’s Combined Forces Special Enforcement Unit.

Made up of officers from police agencies across Nova Scotia, the unit is focused on investigating biker gangs.

Members of the unit gave the presentation at a regular meeting of the Halifax Board of Police Commissioners earlier this month.

A new chapter

This map of “violence” was presented at the Halifax Board of Police Commissioners meeting. (Nova Scotia RCMP/Halifax Board of Police Commissioners)

In the presentation, RCMP Const. Scott Morrison characterized the Red Devils as the top “friend club” internationally for the Angels.

While members of support clubs will often attend Angels events and wear official clothing, friend clubs actually do bidding for the parent club, Morrison said, which could range from collecting debts to drug trafficking and violence.

If they’ve set up shop in Halifax and Moncton, it’s a sign of growing Hells Angels influence in the east.– Julian Sher

The Red Devils could be considered a minor league or farm team for the Angels. Those clubs are typically made up of “younger, meaner” and sometimes less disciplined members than the big club, Sher said.

“If they’ve set up shop in Halifax and Moncton, it’s a sign of growing Hells Angels influence in the east,” he said.

The Outlaws operate in New Brunswick through the Black Pistons, a support club with a chapter in Fredericton, police say.

The Outlaws have long been a “thorn” in the Angels’ side.

“That’s just never good news when the Hells Angels and the Outlaws are in the same geographic territory,” Sher said.

Violent clashes

Julian Sher, the author of several books on the Hells Angels, says it’s never a good sign when the Outlaws and Angels are operating in the same geographic territory. (Julian Sher)

Violence erupted between Angels Quebec members and the Black Pistons somewhere in the Fredericton area in October 2016, according to a map of “violence” presented to Halifax’s police commissioners. 

The most recent incident happened in May, also in the Fredericton area, with Angels clashing directly with Outlaws members.

The map shows a total of four violent incidents in the Fredericton area, along with one clash in the eastern region of the province and one in Nova Scotia.

“A lot of it has been in New Brunswick because New Brunswick also has a Black Pistons chapter that has been established longer than [the Nova Scotia chapter],” Morrison told Halifax police commissioners.

The Fredericton Police Force declined an interview about the new information, saying the content wasn’t provided by Fredericton police “nor approved by the force,” referring questions to police in Nova Scotia.

The Outlaws Motorcycle Club is a bitter rival of the Hells Angels. Both have a presence in New Brunswick. (http://www.outlawsmc-canada.com/)

“We are aware of the presence of Outlaw Motorcycle Gangs in our jurisdiction and the criminal element associated to organized crime,” spokesperson Alycia Bartlett wrote in an email.

CBC News contacted Nova Scotia RCMP, but that force referred questions to New Brunswick RCMP.

New Brunswick RCMP also declined an interview, saying it didn’t endorse the Halifax presentation and couldn’t comment on it.

Ongoing investigations

“The New Brunswick RCMP has not been called to any violent clashes between outlaw motorcycle gangs,” spokesperson Paul Greene wrote in an emailed statement.

Greene said New Brunswick RCMP have “ongoing criminal investigations” related to outlaw motorcycle gang activity but can’t discuss them.

Emery Joseph Martin, 57, of Sainte-Anne-de-Madawaska, pictured here during a previous arrest, appeared in Bathurst provincial court via video conference in June. (Radio-Canada)

He pointed to the arrests of Robin Moulton and Emery (Pit) Martin as results the force has gotten so far in investigating outlaw motorcycle gang activity in New Brunswick.

Police allege Moulton is a full-patch member of Angels’ Nomads New Brunswick chapter and Martin, arrested in June, is a long-standing member of Angels Quebec.

Neither Moulton nor Martin have been convicted of the charges against them.

Greene also declined to comment on the investigation into the death of 50-year-old Ronald Gerald Richard, other than to say the investigation is continuing.

Richard, described by Moulton has the fallen president of a Angels support club called the Gatekeepers, was killed last July 24. In Nova Scotia, the Red Devils replaced the Gatekeepers club, but it’s not immediately clear if the same is true in New Brunswick.

Police have not made any arrests in Richard’s death.

Will try to ‘squeeze each other out’

Both Outlaws and Angels affiliates are competing over turf, but Sher said people shouldn’t panic just yet. Biker wars are rare in Canada and the gangs operate similar to businesses.

First, they’ll try to squeeze or buy each other other out, Sher said. They’ll try lower level intimidation.

But if that doesn’t work, “the violence could escalate.”

“If push comes to shove, they will fight for their territory,” he said.

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Outlaw biker gangs building roots in Atlantic Canada

Two rival motorcycle gangs have had at least five violent clashes in New Brunswick over the last year and a half, according to new information from a Nova Scotia police unit that investigates outlaw motorcycle gangs.

But police won’t comment on the nature of the alleged violence between the Hells Angels and the Outlaws, bitter rivals competing for territory in an eastern expansion.

Both clubs have spent the last few years establishing roots in Atlantic Canada, starting with the Angels, the largest and most powerful motorcycle gang in Canada.

Aside from being untapped territory, the Angels are likely interested in the region because of its port access, said Julian Sher, an author who has written several books on the Angels.

“If you’re in the trafficking business, why wouldn’t you want to be next to a port?” Sher said.

The Angels have a chapter of Nomads in New Brunswick made up of several high-ranking, full-patch members transplanted to the province without creating a formal clubhouse.

On Canada Day, the organization also opened up new Moncton and Halifax chapters of a club called the Red Devils, according to a presentation created by Nova Scotia’s Combined Forces Special Enforcement Unit.

Made up of officers from police agencies across Nova Scotia, the unit is focused on investigating biker gangs.

Members of the unit gave the presentation at a regular meeting of the Halifax Board of Police Commissioners earlier this month.

A new chapter

This map of “violence” was presented at the Halifax Board of Police Commissioners meeting. (Nova Scotia RCMP/Halifax Board of Police Commissioners)

In the presentation, RCMP Const. Scott Morrison characterized the Red Devils as the top “friend club” internationally for the Angels.

While members of support clubs will often attend Angels events and wear official clothing, friend clubs actually do bidding for the parent club, Morrison said, which could range from collecting debts to drug trafficking and violence.

If they’ve set up shop in Halifax and Moncton, it’s a sign of growing Hells Angels influence in the east.– Julian Sher

The Red Devils could be considered a minor league or farm team for the Angels. Those clubs are typically made up of “younger, meaner” and sometimes less disciplined members than the big club, Sher said.

“If they’ve set up shop in Halifax and Moncton, it’s a sign of growing Hells Angels influence in the east,” he said.

The Outlaws operate in New Brunswick through the Black Pistons, a support club with a chapter in Fredericton, police say.

The Outlaws have long been a “thorn” in the Angels’ side.

“That’s just never good news when the Hells Angels and the Outlaws are in the same geographic territory,” Sher said.

Violent clashes

Julian Sher, the author of several books on the Hells Angels, says it’s never a good sign when the Outlaws and Angels are operating in the same geographic territory. (Julian Sher)

Violence erupted between Angels Quebec members and the Black Pistons somewhere in the Fredericton area in October 2016, according to a map of “violence” presented to Halifax’s police commissioners. 

The most recent incident happened in May, also in the Fredericton area, with Angels clashing directly with Outlaws members.

The map shows a total of four violent incidents in the Fredericton area, along with one clash in the eastern region of the province and one in Nova Scotia.

“A lot of it has been in New Brunswick because New Brunswick also has a Black Pistons chapter that has been established longer than [the Nova Scotia chapter],” Morrison told Halifax police commissioners.

The Fredericton Police Force declined an interview about the new information, saying the content wasn’t provided by Fredericton police “nor approved by the force,” referring questions to police in Nova Scotia.

The Outlaws Motorcycle Club is a bitter rival of the Hells Angels. Both have a presence in New Brunswick. (http://www.outlawsmc-canada.com/)

“We are aware of the presence of Outlaw Motorcycle Gangs in our jurisdiction and the criminal element associated to organized crime,” spokesperson Alycia Bartlett wrote in an email.

CBC News contacted Nova Scotia RCMP, but that force referred questions to New Brunswick RCMP.

New Brunswick RCMP also declined an interview, saying it didn’t endorse the Halifax presentation and couldn’t comment on it.

Ongoing investigations

“The New Brunswick RCMP has not been called to any violent clashes between outlaw motorcycle gangs,” spokesperson Paul Greene wrote in an emailed statement.

Greene said New Brunswick RCMP have “ongoing criminal investigations” related to outlaw motorcycle gang activity but can’t discuss them.

Emery Joseph Martin, 57, of Sainte-Anne-de-Madawaska, pictured here during a previous arrest, appeared in Bathurst provincial court via video conference in June. (Radio-Canada)

He pointed to the arrests of Robin Moulton and Emery (Pit) Martin as results the force has gotten so far in investigating outlaw motorcycle gang activity in New Brunswick.

Police allege Moulton is a full-patch member of Angels’ Nomads New Brunswick chapter and Martin, arrested in June, is a long-standing member of Angels Quebec.

Neither Moulton nor Martin have been convicted of the charges against them.

Greene also declined to comment on the investigation into the death of 50-year-old Ronald Gerald Richard, other than to say the investigation is continuing.

Richard, described by Moulton has the fallen president of a Angels support club called the Gatekeepers, was killed last July 24. In Nova Scotia, the Red Devils replaced the Gatekeepers club, but it’s not immediately clear if the same is true in New Brunswick.

Police have not made any arrests in Richard’s death.

Will try to ‘squeeze each other out’

Both Outlaws and Angels affiliates are competing over turf, but Sher said people shouldn’t panic just yet. Biker wars are rare in Canada and the gangs operate similar to businesses.

First, they’ll try to squeeze or buy each other other out, Sher said. They’ll try lower level intimidation.

But if that doesn’t work, “the violence could escalate.”

“If push comes to shove, they will fight for their territory,” he said.

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WorkSafeNB abandons investigation into whale rescuer Joe Howlett's death

The federal government is now the only body investigating the death of volunteer whale rescuer Joe Howlett on a Department of Fisheries and Oceans boat.  

WorkSafeNB abandoned its investigation into Howlett’s July death after determining he wasn’t being paid for his work and wasn’t an employee.

“We came to the conclusion that it wasn’t a workplace fatality on Aug. 31,” said Richard Blais, the director of compliance and regulatory review.

“That’s when we ended our investigation.”

That decision came after discussions with Transport Canada, the Campobello Whale Rescue Team and Howlett’s spouse, Blais said.

For 15 years, Howlett and other members of the Campobello team have been rescuing endangered whales with little compensation from the federal government, which is responsible for the animals under the Species at Risk Act.

The Department of Fisheries and Oceans has relied upon the Campobello team to do rescues because none of its employees on the east coast are trained in the risky technique of cutting ropes off the entangled whales.

The Campobello team has called for more support from the federal government, as an endangered species hangs in the balance.

Transport Canada investigating

Howlett wasn’t with his regular crew from the Campobello team when he set out on July 10 to rescue whale No. 4123, a six-year-old male entangled in fishing gear.

Joe Howlett

Howlett successfully cut free an entangled right whale, but was fatally struck by the huge animal’s tail. (Canadian Whale Institute/New England Aquarium)

Along with research scientist Philip Hamilton, Howlett was called to join a Department of Fisheries and Oceans crew on the rescue.

The whale was freed, but Howlett died after being struck by its tail.

His death has prompted an investigation by Transport Canada, but its scope and the questions investigators are trying to answer remain a mystery.

Transport Canada has repeatedly declined to offer details on the investigation, which falls under the Canada Labour Code and Canada Shipping Act.

“As this is an active investigation, Transport Canada is not in a position to provide information on the duration, specifics or possible outcome of the investigation,” spokesperson Pierre Manoni wrote in an email Friday.

Campobello team not interviewed

The Department of Fisheries and Oceans is doing an internal review as a result of Howlett’s death. Those findings will be shared with Transport Canada.

Campobello team on boat

Members of the Campobello Whale Rescue Team — David Anthony, Moira Brown and Jerry Conway — are calling for more support from the federal government. (Karissa Donkin/CBC)

But the details of that review aren’t clear either.

“As this is an active investigation, DFO is not in a position to comment on the specifics, nor share publicly any information related to the investigation,” spokesperson Vance Chow said on Friday.

Fisheries and Oceans Minister Dominic LeBlanc has said his department’s internal review could look at whether everything done the day of Howlett’s death was “proper.”


DEEP TROUBLE | Right whale in peril

After an unprecedented number of whale deaths this summer, CBC News is bringing you an in-depth look at the endangered North Atlantic right whale. In a series called Deep Trouble, CBC explores the perils facing the right whales.


“We can’t ask staff of our department to be involved in circumstances like that, witness the horrible circumstances that happened to Mr. Howlett and not ask ourselves the obvious question — did we do everything that we properly could and what if anything might have been done differently?”

LeBlanc said he doesn’t direct Transport Canada’s investigation, which is “done by independent experts according to law.”

While the federal government investigates, North Atlantic right whale rescues have been suspended.

As Fisheries and Oceans considers whether to continue the rescues, members of the Campobello team say they haven’t been interviewed by investigators.

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7 right whales entangled this summer, new data shows

New figures show at least seven North Atlantic right whales got entangled in fishing gear in the Gulf of St. Lawrence this summer, and two died as a result.

Two of the whales were freed by rescuers, including Joe Howlett, who was killed during one of the missions.

A fifth whale wrestled itself free of fishing ropes, while the fate of the other two animals is unknown, according to the New England Aquarium figures.

Fisheries and Oceans Minister Dominic LeBlanc says he is concerned about “hundreds of feet of rope” floating in the Gulf of St. Lawrence.

But he stopped short of promising changes to fishing gear, saying the government still must consult with scientists, including U.S. experts.


DEEP TROUBLE | Right whale in peril

After an unprecedented number of deaths this summer, CBC News is bringing you an in-depth look at the endangered North Atlantic right whale. In a series called Deep Trouble, CBC explores the perils facing the right whales.


“The commitment I can make is that next year’s season will be different than this year’s season in terms of our preparedness, in terms of the discussion we’re having around fishing gear, marine transportation, real-time surveillance,” LeBlanc said in an interview.

“All of these measures will be brought together in a co-ordinated way.”

Fisheries and Oceans Minister Dominic LeBlanc

Fisheries and Oceans Minister Dominic LeBlanc says he is concerned about ‘hundreds of feet of rope’ floating in the Gulf of St. Lawrence. (CBC)

The future is bleak for an entangled whale.

Many animals will carry the gear for months, if not years, before slowly succumbing to their injuries, according to Philip Hamilton, a research scientist at the New England Aquarium.

“It is heartbreaking because of the suffering,” he said.

Snow crab gear a culprit

In 2015 and 2016 combined, at least three whales got tangled up in fishing gear in the Gulf of St. Lawrence, including one that died from its injuries.

In those cases, Hamilton said, scientists are sure the whales were caught up in snow crab gear.

Given the location of the seven whales found entangled this year, it’s “likely” they were also victims of snow crab gear, he added.

Snow crab trap

A rusted snow crab trap crafted from rebar sits on a Miscou Island beach after it was cut from the dead body of a North Atlantic right whale. (Submitted: Liam Shea)

Just last week, scientists cut a snow crab trap from a right whale carcass during a necropsy performed on Miscou Island.

Wrapped in heavy ropes, the animal had apparent deep cuts on its body, mouth, fins and blubber.

CBC News sought interviews with snow crab fishing representatives but no one was available.

‘We’ve just lost a big chunk of the population’

LeBlanc has said that every suggestion is on the table, as the federal government faces mounting pressure to protect a species at risk of disappearing.

At least 14 whales have died in the Atlantic Ocean this summer, including at least 11 in the Gulf of St. Lawrence. No more than 500 of the animals remain.

According to Hamilton’s research, only one in four or five carcasses washes ashore, meaning the true death toll could be much higher.

“If that were the case, then we’ve just lost a big chunk of the population,” said Hamilton, who described the deaths as “profoundly discouraging.”

So far, the federal government has closed a crab fishery early and is forcing large ships to slow down in the Gulf of St. Lawrence.

“That speed limit will move as we get information on the migration of the whales,” the minister said.

The government will “massively” increase the amount of aerial and on-the-water surveillance to develop better real-time data on the animal’s’ movement, LeBlanc said.

The department is also considering limiting the amount of rope floating on the surface, as a condition of a fishing licence.

No immediate changes for rescuers

As Transport Canada continues to investigate Howlett’s death, LeBlanc said the federal government will move quickly to make changes once the results are in.

But LeBlanc didn’t say what those changes could entail.

“The best way to go forward probably is a combination of governmental resources [and] expertise from other partners.”

Philip Hamilton

Philip Hamilton, a research scientist at the New England Aquarium, calls the deaths of whales caught in fishing gear ‘heartbreaking’ because of the amount of suffering the animals endure.

The federal government is responsible for managing the at-risk species. But for years, a team of volunteers in the Maritimes has carried out whale rescues with minimal financial compensation from government.

The Campobello Whale Rescue Team — co-founded by Howlett in 2002 — has called for more help.

“Our department will be happy to have conversations with them about the best way we can support the work they do,” LeBlanc said.

“But we also have other partners who are doing a great deal of work in this area as well.”

How an unprecedented number of deaths put the endangered North Atlantic right whale’s future in peril2:57

The government is figuring out how to spend $1.5 billion announced last fall as part of an Oceans protection plan.

That could include putting more money into endangered species and “partners” like the Campobello team, LeBlanc said.

“To be honest, the tragic passing of Mr. Howlett has made that discussion more urgent and more real,” he said.

“Because in no way will I authorize putting the lives of our staff or anybody else who’s working with us in a circumstance that might be dangerous without having every possible effort to ensure their safety.”

The federal government has placed limits on whale rescues since Howlett’s death, suspending right whale rescues. Fisheries and Oceans must give permission before launching a rescue mission for any other whales.

Coast guard broke rules

Earlier this month, a Canadian Coast Guard ship was fined for going too fast in the Gulf of St. Lawrence.

LeBlanc, who oversees the coast guard as fisheries minister, said he was “profoundly unhappy” when he learned the ship sped past the 10-knot limit.

He put his “unhappiness” into a letter directed to the commissioner of the coast guard.

“He assured me that he has put into place a series of measures that should prevent that kind of unacceptable conduct from happening again,” LeBlanc said.

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Prison slammed for 'flawed and self-serving' actions after Cape Breton inmate's death

Matthew Hines didn’t have to die. 

That’s the conclusion of a report by the country’s correctional investigator, who found that prison guards at New Brunswick’s Dorchester Penitentiary used “unnecessary and inappropriate physical and chemical force” against the 33-year-old inmate from Cape Breton.

Hines was pronounced dead on May 27, 2015, less than two hours after he was beaten and pepper sprayed repeatedly by guards after he refused to return to his cell.

“Please, please,” he said shortly before his death, in what may have been his final words. “I’m begging you, I’m begging you.”

In a report tabled on Tuesday morning, correctional investigator Ivan Zinger wrote: “In this case, everything that could go wrong in a use of force intervention went wrong.”

The report makes 10 recommendations to prevent similar deaths in the future, all of which have been accepted by Correctional Services Canada.

The disciplinary process that followed Hines’s death was “flawed and self-serving,” Zinger wrote. He questions whether CSC should be allowed to investigate and discipline itself.

One staff member was fired and at least three were disciplined after Hines’s death, CSC has said. 

‘Misleading’ information provided to public

Matthew Hines

Matthew Hines died in custody of the Dorchester Penitentiary on May 27, 2015. (CBC)

“Corrective measures taken after the fact failed to reflect the nature and gravity of staff errors and omissions that contributed to this tragic, and by my estimation, avertable death,” Zinger wrote.

He also criticized the agency for providing “misleading and incomplete information” both to Hines’s family and to the public.

The correctional agency initially said Hines was “found in need of medication attention” and staff performed CPR on him.

Neither of those facts were true. CSC has apologized for the incorrect press release, but has never explained why it provided false information.

Last fall, the investigation into Hines’s death was reopened and transferred to Nova Scotia RCMP.

Hines was serving a five-year sentence for bank robbery at the time of his death.

Hines struggled with mental health issues

Wendy Gillis Helen MacLeod

Wendy Gillis and Helen MacLeod want justice for their baby brother, Matthew Hines, who died in custody of the Dorchester Penitentiary on May 27, 2015. (CBC)

For more than a year, Hines’s family believed their son and brother died from a seizure. The true story of his death continues to haunt them.

“The sheer number of correctional staff who were involved in or witnessed Matthew’s death is incomprehensible to us,” Hines’s family said in a statement released on Tuesday.

“Why did no one prevent this from happening to him?”

Hines struggled with mental health issues throughout his life, his family said, but struggled to get the help he needed in Cape Breton. They believe he may have been having a mental health emergency on the night of his death.

“The fact that Matthew was treated with such indignity breaks our heart,” his family wrote.

“We know that Matthew, for all of his struggles, would never have treated another human being that way.”

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