Iron Grill arson conspirator dies two months into prison stay
A man who pleaded guilty in connection with a fire that destroyed a Woodstock restaurant has died in custody.
Arun Rajendiran was found dead last week in his Lindsay prison.
He was two months into his sentence, and was concerned about his safety during his first stint in jail, his lawyer told CTV News.
“This is a tragic event all around,” Giacomo Negro said in an email.
In 2009, one person died in an explosion and fire at the Iron Grill restaurant.
A second person suffered life-threatening burns.
Rajendiran, who pleaded guilty to conspiracy to commit arson in June – after a 12-person jury had been selected to hear his case – was one of three people who, court documents show, planned the fire in advance.
The group was motivated by a desire to collect on an insurance policy.
Days before the fire, Rajendiran was cut out of the plan.
The cause of Rajendiran’s death remains unclear, with police, the coroner and correctional services authorities investigating.
Usama Ahkter, who is charged with arson and manslaughter, appears in court Friday.
Charges have been dropped against two of the five people initially arrested in connection with the first, while a third is believed to have left Canada for Sri Lanka.