Jurors enter deliberations on final day of Ahenakew-Johnstone Inquest

Brennan Ahenakew-Johnstone -- photo from GoFundMe.

Jury members began deliberations after hearing the final two witnesses testify before the Brennan Ahenakew-Johnstone Inquest in Prince Albert on Thursday.

Const. Thomas Yu, a former member of the RCMP Major Crimes Unit, and Masqua Masuskapoe, Ahenakew-Johnstone’s best friend, both answered questions during the final session at the Coronet Hotel.

Jury members entered deliberations shortly after lunch. They are expected to return at around 3:30 p.m.

Yu faced questions about why RCMP investigators declined to follow up on a variety of witness statements, or why they did not search the residence where Ahenakew-Johnstone was last seen alive. Those statements included one from a young woman who claimed she saw the driver of a black car interacting with Ahenakew-Johnstone the night he died.

Yu said they reviewed available security footage, which showed few cars passing through the area, many of which were only identifiable by their headlights. He also said officers declined offers from two witnesses to submit to polygraph tests because they aren’t admissible in court.

Yu added that investigators were confident the car fire was not suspicious, so there was no need to follow up with every witness.

When asked why they declined to search the house Ahenakew-Johnstone partied at that night, Yu said they needed permission from the homeowner to enter, and believed no offences were committed inside.

Many family members, including Ahenakew-Johnstone’s mother, Lisa, broke down into tears as Masuskapoe talked about playing basketball with his best friend. Masuskapoe said the two met at the gravel pit in Ahtakhakoop before parting for the last time at 3:30 a.m.

Masuskapoe’s testimony was by far the shortest of any inquest witness. He said he had no idea where Ahenakew-Johnstone was going when he departed that night, although he appeared to be in a good mood.