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Coroner’s service to hold inquest into Assiniboia man's death in MJ police custody

The Saskatchewan Coroner's Service has set the inquiry for Monday, April 15 to Friday, April 19.
Moose Jaw police wall sign

MOOSEJAWTODAY.COM — The Saskatchewan Coroner’s Service (SCS) has scheduled an inquest into the death of an Assiniboia man who died while in the custody of the Moose Jaw Police Service.

The SCS has set the inquiry for Monday, April 15 to Friday, April 19, but has not released any other details about where the week-long discretionary examination into the death of Jeremy Sabourin will occur. 

Sabourin was 40 years old when he allegedly died in police custody at 8:55 a.m. on Oct. 7, 2021. Police members discovered his body in an individual holding cell, even though they had just spoken with him minutes earlier.  

Officers initiated CPR while emergency medical services personnel also responded and continued resuscitation efforts. However, they could not revive him and declared him deceased.  

In accordance with the provisions of The Police Act, 1990, the Moose Jaw Police Service asked the Regina Police Service to investigate Sabourin’s death and requested the Ministry of Corrections, Policing and Public Safety appoint an investigation observer.  

According to his obituary, Sabourin loved the outdoors and was a farm boy. His talent for invention and engineering led him to pursue a career as a machinist and enrolled at SIAT in Calgary, while he later spent several years working in the trade. Although he enjoyed the work, he returned to farming for himself, his dad and as a hired man.

Sabourin had many passions, including sport fishing, hunting, music and range. He was a member of the Saskatchewan Handgun Association and a safety officer in Assiniboia for several years. He was described as an excellent marksman and took great passion in teaching these skills to others. His dedication to the sport, practice and an eagle eye won him many provincial and national titles.

According to the SCS’s website, an inquest is a public hearing where witnesses are called and evidence is heard before six jury members. The inquest is fact-finding and not fault-finding and is not a civil or criminal proceeding.

In Saskatchewan, an inquest is mandatory when a death happens to a person held in custody, for example, in a jail or correctional facility. There is an exception if the person in custody died from natural causes and the death is not preventable. Examples of natural causes are deaths from disease or old age.

In other instances of sudden, unexpected or unnatural death, the Chief Coroner may decide to hold an inquest. These discretionary inquests may be held for one or more of the following reasons:

  • To determine the identity of the deceased and how, when, where and by what means he or she died
  • To inform the public of the circumstances surrounding a death
  • To make dangerous practices or conditions known and make recommendations to avoid preventable deaths
  • To educate the public about dangerous practices or conditions to avoid preventable deaths

The jury at a coroner’s inquest must determine who died, as well as how, when, where, and by what means the person died. The outcome of a coroner’s inquest is the jury findings, the website added. In addition, the jury may make recommendations to appropriate agencies to prevent similar deaths in the future.