Port Alberni court house (Alberni Valley News)

Port Alberni court house (Alberni Valley News)

Coroners’ inquest into 2016 death of Port Alberni teen rescheduled for June 21

18-year-old Jocelyn George died of heart failure after spending time in jail cell

PORT ALBERNI — The BC Coroners Service has rescheduled a public inquest into the death of Jocelyn Nynah Marsha George after the coronavirus pandemic interfered with the original date.

The inquest will begin on Monday, June 21, 2021, at 9:30 a.m. (Pacific time).

The inquest will take place at the Capitol Theatre (4904 Argyle St.) in Port Alberni. It was originally scheduled to begin on July 6, 2020, but was postponed as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic.

The death of George, 18, was reported to the BC Coroners Service on June 24, 2016. George died of heart failure in hospital in Victoria after transfer from police custody at the Port Alberni RCMP detachment. She had spent a day and a night in custody.

Under Section 18(2) of the Coroners Act, inquests are mandatory for any deaths that occur while a person was detained by or in the custody of a peace officer.

READ: Coroners’ inquest will examine 2016 death of Port Alberni teen

Presiding coroner Margaret Janzen and a jury will hear evidence from witnesses under oath to determine the facts surrounding this death. The jury will have the opportunity to make recommendations aimed at preventing deaths under similar circumstances. A jury must not make any finding of legal responsibility or express any conclusion of law.

READ: Nuu-chah-nulth Tribal Council ‘disappointed’ in ruling over Alberni RCMP’s role in teen’s 2016 death

An inquest is a formal process that allows for public presentation of evidence relating to a death. The jury will certify the identity of the deceased and how, where, when and by what means death occurred. The BC Coroners Service is not a fault-finding agency.

The inquest is open to the public. However, seating will be limited, and the same protocols that would apply in a courtroom will apply in the Capitol Theatre.

Livestreaming allows the public and media to virtually attend an inquest when COVID-19 measures prevent or limit physical attendance as they do now. The same rules apply as for in-person attendance at an inquest. Reproduction, broadcasting and publishing, including through social media, of the BC Coroners Service live video stream and its content are prohibited.

To access the livestream, visit:

https://www2.gov.bc.ca/gov/content/life-events/death/coroners-service/inquest-schedule-jury-findings-verdicts/inquestlivestream.

CourtPort Alberni