One of the men who escaped a minimum security prison in Saskatchewan over the weekend was in jail for murder, but the RCMP say they couldn’t tell people that.
Conrad Slippery, 31, and Anthony Ernest, 25, were serving time at the Willow Cree Healing Lodge at Duck Lake. It’s a minimum security facility where the inmates live in residential houses. On the Correctional Service Canada website it describes it as being built in a “pristine natural area, sacred to the Willow Cree.”
Ernest was serving six years for several charges including robbery, use of a firearm, and dangerous operation of a motor vehicle. Slippery was serving a life-sentence for second-degree murder. According to the RCMP he had served 13 years in a federal facility, but was transferred to the Willow Cree facility for ‘good behaviour.’
The two were last seen at the facility around 2 p.m. Saturday, and within an hour the public was notified and asked to call police if the two were seen.
Both were arrested the next day on the Beardy’s & Okemasis First Nation, which is just a few kilometres from the Willow Cree facility. Ernest was arrested in the early morning, and Slippery in the afternoon.
They were taken to Saskatoon where they will be charged with escaping lawful custody, and being unlawfully at large.
During the time the two were on the loose, RCMP did not say what they had been put in jail for.
According to Sgt. Craig Cleary, the RCMP is bound by The Privacy Act. He explained they have some discretionary power when there may be a safety risk. But he said they had no indication there was immediate danger to the public, so “based on that we weren’t in a position to breach The Privacy Act.”
Correctional Service Canada however, had the details on both men’s convictions in a release sent out Saturday.
Cleary said their primary concern was to locate the men. At the end of the release the RCMP did add a warning not to approach the two, but Cleary said that was more because they were escaped convicts.