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N.B. orders coroner’s inquest into death of inmate at Madawaska jail

Wesley Robert Geneau was found unresponsive at the Madawaska jail on Feb. 6. Google Street View

A coroner’s inquest will be held into the death of Wesley Robert Geneau, an inmate at the Madawaska Regional Correctional Centre who died on Feb. 6.

According to a release from the province, Geneau, 40, was found unresponsive that morning. Staff administered first aid and he was transported to the Edmunston Regional Hospital where he was found dead.

In a statement earlier in the week, provincial Justice spokesperson Geoffrey Downey said Geneau was remanded to custody on Aug. 30, 2021, and had been serving a 221-day sentence since Dec. 6, 2021. His earliest release date would have been May 15, 2022.

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

He could not provide further details about Geneau’s health history.

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A date for the inquest — a formal proceeding that allows for public presentation of all evidence relating to a death — has yet to be announced. The presiding coroner and location also have yet to be determined.

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

The province has said neither foul play nor self-harm are suspected.

Read more: Family of N.B. inmate who died of COVID-19 speaks out: ‘He deserved more’

This is the second inquest to be called into a death of an inmate in recent weeks.

On Feb. 2, the province announced there will be a coroner’s inquest into the death of Skyler Sappier, a 28-year-old inmate at the Saint John Regional Correctional Centre.

The province has not released Sappier’s cause of death, but his family said he died of COVID-19 due to an ongoing outbreak at the facility.

Click to play video: 'Family of New Brunswick inmate who died of COVID-19 speaks out' Family of New Brunswick inmate who died of COVID-19 speaks out
Family of New Brunswick inmate who died of COVID-19 speaks out – Feb 3, 2022

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