Thunder Bay resident who died late Sunday at a southern Ontario prison
was once described as “a serial killer in the making.”
Benjamin Nugent, 29, was serving a double life sentence at the Collins
Bay Institution for a pair of vicious murders in the spring of 1995. On
Sunday night he died after going into medical distress in his cell.
was something along the lines of difficulty breathing, that type of
thing,” Collins Bay Institution assistant warden Cindy Herrington said
efforts by staff and paramedics, Nugent was pronounced dead at the
was conducting a post-mortem exam and doing followup tests Tuesday. An
official cause of death has not yet been determined.
point in time we don’t suspect any foul play,” Herrington said.
provincial police joint forces penitentiary squad has begun an
investigation, and routine at the 75-year-old facility has been modified
to accommodate the officers.
Bay is a medium security prison in the west end of Kingston. It houses
about 220 inmates, one-quarter of whom are serving either a life or
received life sentences in January 1997 for beating two men to death. He
was ordered to serve 18 years before becoming eligible for parole.
murders of Jean Joseph Boutin and Victor Wilson shocked and terrified
the community in early 1995.
31, 1995, Boutin met Nugent, then 19, and a Pickle Lake youth at a bar.
While near Hillcrest Park, the young men began beating Boutin, 44. They
stole his jewelry and wallet. When they came back, they found Boutin
sitting up and wiping blood from his face with a tissue. “Nugent went up
to him and kicked him in the face and then repeatedly kicked him in the
head until he was once again unconscious,” the prosecutor told the
later returned, bound Boutin and kicked him again. He was found the next
day by a woman walking her dog. The cause of death was asphyxia due to
blood in the airway.
16, 1995, 41-year-old Victor Wilson was choked and beaten in an Ambrose
Street driveway after encountering Nugent.
had been badly beaten in the head to the point of being unrecognizable,”
court was told.
was arrested in December 1995 and pleaded guilty to two counts of
second-degree murder. He was also convicted of aggravated assault,
robbery and willfully setting fires in unrelated incidents.
"Serial killer in the making" died of overdose
October 26, 2005
Bay man who had been serving life sentences for a pair of vicious
beating deaths in 1995 died of a drug overdose in March at a southern
A provincial police official said test results
indicate Braeden Benjamin Nugent had a high level of prescription
medication in his system when he died.
Nugent died at Collins Bay Institution on the
evening of March 27 after going into “medical distress” in his cell.
Attempts by staff and paramedics to assist him were unsuccessful,
Correctional Service of Canada said.
With all signs pointing to a drug overdose, no
criminal charges are pending and the investigation is closed, Smith
Falls OPP Sgt. Kristine Cholette said Tuesday.
An official with the regional coroner’s office
in Kingston said an inquest has not yet been scheduled. A coroner’s
inquest is mandatory for a death in custody.
Nugent, 29, was serving a double life sentence
for second-degree murder, aggravated assault, arson and robbery. The
violence offences stem from incidents in which two men were beaten to
On April 1, 1995, the severely beaten and
bound body of 44-year-old Jean Joseph Boutin was found in a lane below
Hillcrest Park. Nugent and a Pickle Lake youth were convicted of
second-degree murder and manslaughter, respectively.
On May 17, 1995, Victor Wilson’s bloodied body
was found on an Ambrose Street driveway. Wilson, 41, was developmentally
disabled and communicated by humming and grunting.
Nugent, who was 20 at the time, pleaded guilty
to two counts of second-degree murder.
The arson charge relates to separate incidents
in which several Shuniah cottages were set on fire.
A police investigator
referred to Nugent as a “serial killer in the making.”