The BC Coroners Service has announced a single inquest into the deaths of three inmates from Mountain Institution in Agassiz.
The three inmates all were being housed in the segregation unit at the penitentiary when they died over an eight-month period from July 2012 through February 2013. The three are:
- Gerald Joseph Cayer, aged 49, died Feb. 7, 2013.
- Kyle Darren Tambaugh, aged 35, died Aug. 24, 2012.
- Warren Robert Allen, aged 54, died July 20, 2012.
Most coroner's inquests deal with only a single incident. The Coroners Act does, however, give the chief coroner the authority to direct that a single inquest be held in respect of more than one death. Chief coroner Lisa Lapointe says that the facts and circumstances of these three deaths are sufficiently similar that it will be more effective to hold a single inquest into the deaths and three separate inquests are not necessary.
Presiding coroner Vincent Stancato and a jury will hear evidence from subpoenaed witnesses to determine the facts surrounding this death. While the jury may not, by law, make any findings of legal responsibility, it will have the opportunity to make recommendations aimed at preventing deaths under similar circumstances in the future. An inquest is a formal process that allows for public presentation of evidence relating to a death.
No date has yet been set for this inquest, which will likely be scheduled early in 2014. An announcement will be made once a date has been finalized.
For further information, please contact:
Coroner, Strategic Programs
BC Coroners Service
250-356-9253 or 250-213-5020