Witnesses on the first day of the Shauna Wolf inquiry say there was very little out of the ordinary prior to the discovery of her body on Dec. 27, 2015 at Pine Grove Correctional Centre.
A total of seven witnesses took to the stand on Monday, as the public inquest into Wolf’s death began at the Prince Albert Court of Queen’s Bench. The list included correction workers and medical personnel, who all said Wolf was friendly and personable in the hours leading up to her death.
“Very polite,” said Lisa Nazar, one of four corrections officers to testify on Monday. “(Saying) please and thank you. She was very polite.”
Nazar and co-worker Heidi Huziek were the two corrections officers on duty in the segregation unit, where Wolf was being held that day.
Huziek also took the stand, and said she spoke to and checked in on Wolf on multiple occasions just before her death, but did not notice anything unusual.
Wolf was sitting upright and looked to be breathing, so Huziek took no further precautions.
“In my experience, I’ve seen inmates sleep in some pretty different positions,” she told the inquest.
Both witnesses were very quiet on the stand, with Nazar testifying that she felt “awful” after Wolf was sent to hospital. Shortly after paramedics left, Nazar began cleaning the empty cell, saying she was “on autopilot” at the time. Both testified to receiving counseling to help deal with the incident.
Prior to her death, Wolf was moved to the segregation unit after spending a night under observation in a medical cell. There was some concern she was suffering heroin withdrawal symptoms, although nurse Patricia Marshall, who attended to Wolf on Dec. 25-26, told jurors those symptoms were minimal.
Jurors also heard from Lori Jacobson, a deputy director of operations at Pine Grove at that time. Jacobson said Wolf had confessed to smuggling drugs into the facility, and was facing a penalty of 10 days in segregation.
However, Jacobson also agreed with previous witnesses, saying Wolf was polite and in good spirits prior to her death.
For the rest of this story, please see the May 2 online or print edition of the Daily Herald.