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Inquest into death of inmates set for March

Mountain Penitentiary in Agassiz.
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January 17, 2014 - 5:08 PM


THOMPSON-OKANAGAN — The deaths of three Mountain Penitentiary inmates within an eight-month period in 2012-2013—including a former Kelowna man—were similar enough to warrant an inquest into the deaths and in March the Burnaby Coroners Court will hear about the details surrounding the deaths.

All three inmates—Gerald Joseph Cayer, Kyle Darren Tombaugh and Warren Robert Allen—were being housed in the segregation unit at the medium-security Agassiz facility when they were found unresponsive and pronounced dead at hospital.

Cayer, 49 of Kelowna, died on Feb. 7, 2013 and was serving an indeterminate sentence for second degree murder that commenced Oct. 10, 2001. Cayer stabbed his father 34 times in the back and 19 times in the chest after a confrontation about his childhood on Sept. 21, 2001. He later pled guilty to the murder at his father's unit in the Kiwanis Towers and got life imprisonment without parole eligibility for 10 years.

Tombaugh, 35, died Aug. 24, 2012 and was sentenced to four years and 21 days on Nov. 14, 2011 for theft, assault and attempt of an indictable offence while Allen, 54, died July 20, 2012 and was sentenced to three years and three months for sexual assault and distribute/sell child pornography on Jan. 20, 2012.

Most coroner inquests only deal with a single incident but because the facts and circumstances are 'sufficiently similar' it was decided back in March 2013 more effective to hold a single inquest.

Coroner Vincent Stancato and a jury will hear evidence from March 10-14 to determine the facts surrounding the deaths. The jury cannot make any findings legal responsibility but can make recommendations aimed at preventing deaths under similar circumstances in the future.

To contact a reporter for this story, email, call (250)819-3723 or tweet @JennStahn.

News from © InfoTel News Ltd, 2014
InfoTel News Ltd

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