Inmate sentence for second degree murder in jail attack | DrumhellerMail
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Last updateFri, 21 Jun 2024 5pm

Inmate sentence for second degree murder in jail attack

Drumheller Institution

An inmate who was serving at the Drumheller Institution was sentenced to life in prison after pleading guilty to second-degree murder.
Ashley Baird, 38, appeared in Court of King’s Bench on Monday, May 28 via closed circuit television. He was scheduled for a two-week trial in the murder of fellow inmate Jeffery Ryan. Baird entered a guilty plea to second-degree murder.
The court heard that on the evening of January 26, 2022, Ryan, who was 34 at the time was in Unit 9 at the Drumheller Institution, he was talking to his mother on the phone. He was sitting on a chair with his back to a cell. At 8:15 p.m. Baird is seen peering from his cell. A minute later he exited the cell and using an eight-inch jail-made weapon, stabbed Ryan in the right side of his neck. Ryan got up and correction officers gave him medical assistance. An inmate said they heard Baird say “I killed him.”
Two more corrections officers approached and ordered Baird to drop the weapon. He complied.
Officers administered medical assistance to Ryan until he was taken by EMS to the Drumheller Health Centre where he died.
The attack was captured on security video, and was turned over to the RCMP.
In January 2023 an autopsy determined he died as a result of the attack, and a report on Baird indicated that while he had mental health issues, these did not preclude him from prosecution.
Ryan’s mother and sister were in court for his guilty plea and sentencing and each provided a victim impact statement.
“My love for him has no boundaries,” said Dianna Waters in her statement. As Ryan’s sister, she was 15 years older and at times had a relationship that was more of a parent than sibling.
“My heart is broken in pieces, part of my soul is gone.”
The Crown and Defence agreed to a joint submission of life imprisonment with no chance of parole for 10 years. Mitigating factors were that he entered a guilty plea, saving the court the expense of a trial. Aggravating factors include that it happened in an institutional setting, using a jail-made weapon and that it was a seemingly random attack.
King’s Bench Justice C.D. Simard went along with the joint submission noting that it was fair, just and proportional.
Baird was sentenced to live in prison with no chance of parole for 10 years, and a lifetime ban on weapons. No contact with family members of Ryan during his custodial sentence, and to provide a DNA sample to authorities.


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