Inquest hears from forensic experts

By Angela Brown
December 6, 2018 - 5:01pm

More experts gave their testimonies Thursday during the coroner’s inquest into Brydon Whitstone’s death, taking place at Queen’s Bench Court in Battleford this week.

A forensic specialist with the RCMP toxicology dept., Kimberly Young, said in her report when she appeared via telephone conference that the analysis into Whitstone’s bodily fluids post-mortem indicated he had methamphetamine in his system, as well as ethanol from consuming alcohol, prior to his death.

Based on the blood-alcohol level Whitstone would have been within the legal limit to drive. Young also provided the meth level but advised court it is difficult to give an accurate assessment of the levels in Whitstone’s system because essentially after a person dies the substance will redistribute in the person’s body. Basically, she said it not feasible to make any kind of assessment from the levels since it would not reflect what the individual had in his system prior to death.

When speaking to the issue of meth in a person’s system, Young did say it is a stimulant and generally it could cause a person to be more excited or, as well, act more compulsively or have confusion, depending on the amount in a person’s system as well as tolerance level.

Forensic pathologist Dr. Andreea Nistor said via telephone conference that her examination revealed Whitstone sustained two gunshot wounds - to his torso and heart. One of the shots would have been lethal, while the other resulted in large blood loss. She said she would not be able to determine which gunshot  entered his body first, nor the range of distance it travelled after being fired.

Nistor said a separate intact live bullet unrelated to the incident, that appeared to have been ingested, was found in Whitstone’s stomach.    

This concludes the witness testimony for this week's inquest. On Friday the jury will convene in the morning to watch a video taken from one of the police cruisers at the scene to settle any questions about the sequence of events that night. Then, the jury will be sequestered until it is ready to make recommendations.  

Whitstone family attorney Stephanie Lavallee said following court Thursday she expects the inquest will likely conclude Friday.

“In the morning the coroner will read a summation of the facts we heard throughout the week," she said. "He is going to play the dash cam video from police car A115 – the only video we have."

Lavallee added this will help the jury refresh their memories from the week about what happened, and the times they occurred, based on witness accounts and the evidence presented.

The jury will then leave and participate in deliberations.

Lavallee said essentially, the jury will be making a determination of the death of Whitstone, and also provide recommendations to help prevent these types of deaths from occurring again in the future.

 

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