Four men and two women were selected at an inquest this morning in La Ronge to begin hearing details about the death of Walter Clinton McKenzie in September 2010.
An investigation team has been unable to figure out where Walter Clinton McKenzie was for several hours before he ended up in a police cell, then suffered an apparently fatal brain hemorrhage.
RCMP Staff-Sergeant Richard Bergevin, who headed the team brought in to investigate McKenzie's death four years ago, testified today at a coroner's inquest in La Ronge.
Bergevin said that even after interviewing many of McKenzie's friends and relatives, his team could not say for certain where the Brabant Lake man was for much of the day, prior to him showing up at the La Ronge Health Centre's emergency room on September 6, 2010.
That night, McKenzie came in to the ER wearing jeans with muddy knees, complaining of a cut on his eye, which he told nurses was caused by falling on a stick. His injury was found to not require medical attention, but he was drunk enough that medical staff called in the RCMP.
Bergevin also summarized evidence gathered from his team's interviews and from security videos recorded at the police station, as well as at the liquor store and a local hotel.
McKenzie appeared to be drunk but otherwise healthy the night before his death in police custody.
Both the physician on duty and one of the nurses on shift in the La Ronge emergency room the night of September 6, 2010 testified at the inquest.
Dr. Christo Delacort recalled that, as per normal procedure, McKenzie was evaluated by registered nurse Cindy Penney.
Penney told Delacort that the patient's vital signs and neurological signs were normal, and that his only injury was a small cut on his left eye.
McKenzie refused to let the nurse look at the injured eye, but his other eye appeared normal, and it was decided that he did not need to be seen by the doctor.
Nurse Rebecca Whaley said McKenzie was a frequent visitor to the emergency room, and was intoxicated every time.
She testified that she saw him asleep in one of the short-stay beds, which he had found on his own, and called the RCMP to pick him up.
The inquest is expected to last for the remainder of the week.