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Trial of inmate accused of killing Chris Van Camp at Saskatchewan Penitentiary starts today

The trial of Tyler Vandewater, accused with killing a fellow Saskatchewan Penitentiary inmate, started today in Prince Albert Court of Queen’s Bench.

Vandewater, who was 28 at the time, is charged with second-degree murder in the death of Christopher Van Camp, 37, who was found unresponsive in his cell June 7, 2017.

Emergency services were called but Van Camp couldn’t be resuscitated, Correctional Service Canada (CSC) said in a June 7, 2017, press release.

Van Camp’s mother, Lauren Laithwaite of Calgary, is attending the trial and posted on Facebook that she arrived in Prince Albert on Sunday.

“I feel strength in my ability to get through. Always hoping to see that miracle shine through.”

According to CSC, at the time of his death Van Camp was serving a sentence of five years, five months and 12 days for armed robbery since June 6, 2012. He was serving the sentence for fraud, break, enter and commit theft, break and enter with intent, possession of property obtained by crime, disobey an order of the court, failure to comply with conditions of an undertaking or recognizance since June 6, 2012.

At the time of Van Camp’s murder, Vandewater was serving four years, 11 months and 11 days for aggravated assault, assault causing bodily harm, two counts of assaulting a peace officer and uttering threats. 

Saskatchewan Penitentiary is located one kilometre west of the City of Prince Albert.

The trial is expected to last two to three weeks.


Lisa Joy, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, The Battlefords Regional News-Optimist

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