Canada

Man charged with attempt to murder Montreal cop accused of killing cellmate

Ali Ngarukiye was charged with second-degree murder in the death of André Lapierre at the provincial jail where they were both serving sentences.

Barbed wire at the top of a prison fence.

Ali Ngarukiye, charged earlier this year with the attempted murder of a Montreal police officer, now faces new charges alleging he murdered a fellow detainee at the Rivière-des-Prairies Detention Centre.

The 21-year-old appeared confused Friday afternoon as he was formally charged with second-degree murder in the death of 57-year-old André Lapierre, a man who spent much of his adult life behind bars. The victim was found dead inside the provincial jail Thursday morning.

Ngarukiye, who appeared before Quebec Court Judge Mélanie Hébert through a video conference connecting the Montreal courthouse with the jail, was also charged with improperly or indecently interfering with or offering an indignity to Lapierre’s body.

Two prison guards stood close behind Ngarukiye as he made his brief appearance.

Defence lawyer Lloyd Fischler informed the accused that his family was in the courtroom attending the hearing.

“Can I see my family, please?” Ngarukiye repeated a few times, sounding somewhat desperate. “Can I talk to them?”

“No. Only by phone over the weekend, OK?” Fischler replied.

The case was carried over to July 21, a date on which Ngarukiye is already scheduled to appear in court for his other case. He faces charges related to the attempted shooting of Sanjay Vig, whose firearm was taken from him as he wrestled with a man while on duty in Parc-Extension on Jan. 28.

Shortly after someone tried to shoot Vig, Mamadi Fara Camara was wrongfully arrested in the case, but the charges were eventually dropped and the Montreal police later apologized to him. Ngarukiye was arrested in March.

Sûreté du Québec spokesperson Sgt. Benoît Richard said the investigation into Lapierre’s death began after 8 a.m. on Thursday.

“At first it was investigated as a suspicious death, but after talking to witnesses and after meeting with the suspect, (it was determined to be a homicide),” Richard said.

According to court records, Lapierre was serving an eight-year sentence for a series of armed robberies. Sentences of more than two years are supposed to be served in federal penitentiaries. Richard said he did not have information that would explain why Lapierre was in a provincial jail when he was killed.

On April 29, 2014, Lapierre was left with the eight-year prison term after he pleaded guilty to 14 counts of armed robbery. He had a lengthy criminal record and had served several prison terms as an adult. That included a 54-month sentence he received in 2000 after he pleaded guilty to 18 counts of armed robbery.

pcherry@postmedia.com

  1. Members of Ali Ngarukiye's family leave the courtroom in Montreal on Friday, March 26, 2021.

    Ali Ngarukiye charged with attempted murder of Montreal cop Sanjay Vig

  2. Mamadi Fara Camara, falsely accused of attempted murder of a Montreal police officer, is interviewed on Tout le monde en parle on Sunday, Feb. 14, 2021.

    Mamadi Fara Camara says false arrest made him feel like 'I was a monster'

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