CALGARY, Nov. 1, 2019 /CNW/ - The suspect in the murder of Deborah Onwu, a group home employee killed last week, will appear in a Calgary courtroom for the first time today. Onwu's union, CUPE, is calling for higher safety standards and staffing levels to protect other workers.
"Deborah Onwu was stabbed while dealing with a client with complex mental health needs and a violent history," said CUPE spokesperson Lou Arab. "She was working alone and she should not have been." Brandon Newman has been charged with second degree murder.
CUPE's internal investigation uncovered that Newman was previously classified as needing a 'two-to-one' care ratio. Onwu was working with another employee that night, but the co-worker was on another floor, dealing with a different client.
"CUPE has been raising concerns about the safety of employees with Woods Homes for some time," said Arab. "While we cannot say for sure that Deborah's death would have been prevented were staffing levels higher, she was no doubt unsafe handling Mr. Newman alone."
SOURCE Canadian Union of Public Employees (CUPE)
For further information: Lou Arab, Communications Representative, 780.271.2722