Daughters of man slain following Vancouver Island prison escape sue Correctional Service of Canada
The family of a 60-year-old mail delivery man who was found dead in his hometown of Metchosin, BC after a prison break from a nearby minimum-security facility in 2019 is suing the Canadian Corrections Agency. CSC), said it had not followed its own policies in how to handle and respond to two inmates.
The plaintiffs, Calla and Jessica Payne, the daughter of Martin Payne, are asking CSC for damages and expenses for the loss of their father.
“The [plaintiffs] suffered severe psychological trauma, including depression, anxiety, post-traumatic stress and grief over the loss of a father,” reads the lawsuit, which was filed earlier in July in the BC Supreme Court.
None of its claims have been proven in court. CSC has yet to respond but has told the media they are aware of it.
Payne was attacked to death after the prisoner escaped
In July 2019, James Lee Busch and Zachary Armitage escaped from the William Head Institution in Metchosin County, about a 30-minute drive west of Victoria, by walking around the fence at low tide.
The two had previously been transferred to William Head in Metchosin, a minimum-security prison, from a medium-security prison in Mission on the mainland.
Busch, in his 40s, is serving an indefinite sentence for second-degree murder and assault. Armitage, in his 30s, was convicted of charges including a violent assault and robbery.
According to police, the couple was discovered and arrested nearly two days after escaping.
However, a few days later, Martin Payne, who lived about 8 kilometers from William Head, was found dead in his home, while his car was discovered in the Victorian suburb of Oak Bay. It is alleged that Busch and Armitage fatally attacked Payne.
Busch and Armitage were later charged with first-degree murder in connection with his death. Their trial will begin this fall.
Meanwhile, a lawsuit from Payne’s daughters argues that his death could have been avoided had the CSC not transferred Busch and Armitage to William Head in the first place. It says the pair should never be reclassified as low risk, allowing them to lie in William Head.
It also alleges that the CSC did not adequately monitor inmates at William Head and should have done more to warn the community about their runaways.
The suit says that the morning after they escaped, the CSC posted a notice on Twitter saying the inmates had escaped and that the agency was working with police to locate them.
‘Negligent, reckless and unruly’
“It was a direct and foreseeable consequence of CSC’s violation of the standard of care that [inmates] escaped from the William Head Institute and assaulted Mr. Payne and harmed [plaintiffs]”read the lawsuit.
“The [inmates’] The eviction from William Head on 7 July 2019 was the result of operational decisions made by CSC and its officers that were negligent, reckless and contrary to CSC policy. ”
In November 2019, Busch and Armitage each pleaded guilty to escaping from custody and were sentenced to 12 months in addition to the sentences they served.
They were charged with first degree murder in connection with the death of Martin Payne in June 2020.