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Joint Inquest into the Eight Deaths at the Hamilton-Wentworth Detention Centre

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Joint Inquest into the Eight Deaths at the Hamilton-Wentworth Detention Centre

Dr. David Eden, Regional Supervising Coroner for Inquests, today announced that a joint inquest will be held into the deaths of Louis Angelo Unelli, William Acheson, Martin Tykoliz, Stephen Conrad Neeson, David Michael Gillan, Trevor Ronald Burke, Julien Chavaun Walton and Peter Michael McNelis.

Mr. Unelli, 40, died on March 17, 2012; Mr. Acheson, 42, died on Sept. 12, 2012; Mr. Tykoliz, 38, died on May 7, 2014; Mr. Neeson, 44, died on Feb. 15, 2015; Mr. Gillan, 46, died on May 19, 2015; Mr. Burke, 38, died on March 25, 2014; Mr. Walton, 20, died on Oct. 2, 2015; and Mr. McNelis, 47, died on March 13, 2016.  They died while in custody at the Hamilton Wentworth Detention Centre. Drug toxicity was a factor in all of the deaths. An inquest is mandatory under the Coroners Act. The chief coroner has directed that a joint inquest be held into the deaths.

The inquest will examine the events surrounding these deaths.  The jury may make recommendations aimed at preventing similar deaths. 

The inquest is expected to last 30 days and to hear from approximately 100 witnesses.

The inquest will begin at 9:30 a.m. on Tuesday, Jan. 2, 2018, at the John Sopinka Courthouse, 45 Main St. E., Hamilton. Dr. Reuven Jhirad will preside as inquest coroner and Karen Shea will be counsel to the coroner.

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