21-year-old identified as Windsor inmate who died of suspected opioid overdose

·3 min read
An inmate who died at the South West Detention Centre this week has been identified as Nathaniel Krug, according to his lawyer.  (CBC News - image credit)
An inmate who died at the South West Detention Centre this week has been identified as Nathaniel Krug, according to his lawyer. (CBC News - image credit)

An inmate at the South West Detention Centre in Windsor who died on Wednesday has been identified as 21-year-old Nathaniel Krug, according to the man's lawyer.

On Friday, Krug's lawyer Paul Esco told CBC News that he heard the man's death was the result of a fentanyl overdose. Krug was about to turn 22 years old in March and expecting a baby in June, according to Esco.

Krug was in jail on attempted murder and firearm charges, Esco said.

In a statement to CBC News, the Ministry of the Solicitor General said paramedics transported two inmates to hospital on Wednesday, where one was pronounced dead. The ministry did not release a cause of death.

The second person was treated and returned to the jail, according to the statement.

Esco said he was sad to hear the news of Krug's death as he's been his lawyer for quite some time. He said Krug lived on the streets and had been in and out of trouble with the law since he was a teen.

"I had a lot of hope for Nathaniel that as he got older he would straighten his life out," Esco said.

"It's one thing trying to be a tough guy on the street or act tough, he wasn't really that tough of a guy. With his child coming on the way I thought he was going to grow up a bit and take his life seriously."

Criminal defence lawyer Patricia Brown says the overdoses experienced by her clients, and others, is concerning and more needs to be done to prevent them.
Criminal defence lawyer Patricia Brown says the overdoses experienced by her clients, and others, is concerning and more needs to be done to prevent them.(Jacob Barker/CBC)

Esco said that he's yet to hear directly from police or the jail itself about his client.

In an email to CBC News, Windsor police said they are investigating the incident in conjunction with the Office of the Chief Coroner. The Ministry of the Solicitor General is also investigating.

The fact that Krug died from an apparent overdose while in jail is "sad," Esco said.

He said he often believes his clients are safer in jail because they're away from drugs — but recent events have made him think otherwise.

"I didn't realize [the drugs are] so rampant here until recently," he said. "If these two young men [overdosed] this week ... and my client died, it must be rampant. It can't just be two cases."

He said he's also heard from other lawyers who say their clients have had similar incidents. He said in 2019, his client Joseph Gratton also died from an overdose.

Patricia Brown, a criminal defence lawyer in Windsor-Essex and Chatham-Kent, represents Krug's cellmate who was also sent to hospital but recovered. She said she had another client who overdosed a few weeks ago.

She told CBC News that she's concerned about these incidents and what they mean for her clients.

"This is not the time to point fingers at anybody," she said. "We have to come together as a community and work with the correctional facility and work with law enforcement to see what we can do because people are losing their lives and so we want to make sure everybody is safe ... my priority is the safety and wellbeing of my clients."