Public inquest into 2017 penitentiary death set for Oct. 5

Daniel Tokarchuk was found unresponsive in his cell on June 7, 2017

Saskatchewan Penitentiary. (Herald File Photo)

A public inquest into the 2017 death of a Saskatchewan Penitentiary inmate is set for the first week of October.

The province announced Friday that the inquest into Daniel Tokarchuk’s death will be held at Plaza 88 from Oct. 5 until Oct. 9.

The inquest was set to be held in April but was postponed due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Tokarchuk died in custody on June 7, the second inmate to die at the penitentiary that day. According to a press release, he was found unresponsive in his cell and lifesaving attempts were made with a defibrillator and CPR. He was taken to the hospital, where he was pronounced deceased.

Christopher Van Camp was also found dead in his cell earlier that same day. In March, Tyler Vandewater was convicted of murder in Van Camp’s death.

Inquests are held whenever an inmate dies at a jail or correctional facility unless the coroner is satisfied that the death was due entirely to natural causes and was not preventable.

The coroner’s service is responsible for the investigation of all sudden, unexpected deaths. While the inquest’s purpose is to establish who died, when and where they died and the cause and manner of death, coroner’s juries may also make recommendations to prevent similar deaths. An inquest does not pursue criminal charges or find fault.

Coroner Tim Hawyrluk will preside at the inquest.