EDMONTON – Correctional peace officers have been disciplined after an investigation found they failed to keep an accused murderer in their custody.
Christopher Nagel, 36, had been charged with first-degree murder in the death of his wife, Rienna, when he escaped custody at the University of Alberta Hospital in Edmonton on May 6, 2014.
Following the discovery of Rienna’s body in the couple’s Spruce Grove home, RCMP had transported her husband from the scene to hospital as he was suffering from self-inflicted injuries.
While at the hospital, Nagel reportedly asked a correctional peace officer for permission to go to the washroom
“His restraints were removed at that time and he went into the washroom alone. A few minutes later, the officer checked the inmate and he was gone,” Alberta Justice Minister and Solicitor General Jonathan Denis said following the incident.
“The Corrections Officer immediately notified hospital security, the Edmonton Police Service, and the Edmonton Remand Centre,” he added.
The hospital was searched and the inmate was found about five hours later, hiding on another floor of the hospital. It was later determined that he had escaped through a side door in the washroom.
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An investigation into the escape was launched by Alberta’s justice minister. According to the findings, “existing procedures, processes and protocols were not followed, and had they been the incident could have been prevented.”