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Coroner’s inquest to be held in death of New Brunswick inmate

Skyler Brent Sappier-Soloman was an inmate at the Saint John Regional Correctional Centre. Google Street View

New Brunswick has ordered an inquest into the death of Skyler Brent Sappier-Soloman, a 28-year-old inmate who died late last month.

In a release Wednesday, the province said Sappier-Soloman died at the Saint John Regional Hospital in the early morning hours of Jan. 31.

It did not say how he died, but CBC reported Tuesday that the Wolastoqey man died from COVID-19. The province reported a person in their 20s died as a result of COVID-19 on Monday.

Sappier-Soloman was an inmate at the Saint John Regional Correctional Centre. The release said he was transported and admitted to Saint John Regional Hospital on Jan. 29 and died in the early morning hours of Jan. 31.

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The date for the inquest, which is a formal proceeding that allows for public presentation of all evidence relating to a death, has yet to be announced. The presiding coroner, schedule and location are also not yet determined.

“The presiding coroner and a jury will publicly hear evidence from subpoenaed witnesses to determine the facts surrounding Sappier-Soloman’s death,” the release said. “The jury will have an opportunity to make recommendations to prevent deaths under similar circumstances.”

It noted that the New Brunswick Coroner Service is an independent fact-finding agency that does not make any findings of legal responsibility.

The Department of Justice has previously said neither foul play nor self-harm is suspected in Sappier-Soloman’s death.

Global News has contacted Neqotkuk, or Tobique First Nation, for comment.

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