Burnaby/Chilliwack – The BC Coroners Service has scheduled a public inquest into the death of Charlene Teresa Sakamoto.
The inquest is scheduled to begin at 9:30 a.m. on Oct. 9, 2018, at the Burnaby Coroners’ Court (20th Floor – 4720 Kingsway, Metrotower II, Metrotown, Burnaby).
Sakamoto, aged 39 years at the time of her death, became unresponsive while in the back of a Chilliwack RCMP patrol vehicle on Jan. 18, 2017. Resuscitation efforts at Chilliwack General Hospital were unsuccessful. As Sakamoto was in the custody of police when she became unresponsive, her death is considered to meet the criteria of Section 18(2) of the Coroners Act for a mandatory inquest.
Presiding coroner Margaret Janzen and a jury will hear evidence from witnesses under oath to determine the facts surrounding Sakamoto’s 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.
An inquest is a formal process that allows for public presentation of evidence relating to a death. For more information on inquests, please visit: https://www2.gov.bc.ca/gov/content/life-events/death/coroners-service/investigations-inquests
The BC Coroners Service looks to gather the facts surrounding why a death took place and is not a fault-finding agency. It provides an independent service to the family, community, government agencies and other organizations.