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With suspects dead, answers about B.C. homicides may be hard to find

The deaths of Chynna Deese, Lucas Fowler and Leonard Dyck sparked two weeks of police investigation, intense public focus and suspense within the search for suspects Kam McLeod and Bryer Schmegelsky.

With the suspects discovered useless in northern Manitoba on Aug. 7, folks within the communities the place the 2 fugitives had been noticed whereas at giant could really feel relieved.

Their deaths could convey closure for some, however solutions to the many questions on the case — and what led to the three killings — could also be laborious to search out.

How will the general public fill in a few of the huge gaps in what’s identified concerning the case? CBC Information explains.

Will there be a trial?

Deceased suspects cannot be placed on trial. In most felony instances, a public trial is the place the place particulars of the crime are delivered to mild. Paperwork, together with images and video, are a part of most instances, and they are often accessed by members of the general public and the media.

Crown prosecutors and defence attorneys current their arguments and describe their model of what befell. And witnesses — together with police — recount what they noticed.

With no trial, there is not any certainty any of that info will ever attain the general public.

With suspects dead, answers about B.C. homicides may be hard to find 1
Pictures of homicide suspects Kam McLeod and Bryer Schmegelsky had been recorded in northern Saskatchewan on July 21, after three folks had been discovered useless in B.C. (RCMP)

What can the coroners inform us?

A coroner’s investigation is way over merely trying on the findings of an post-mortem. In keeping with B.C. Coroners Service spokesperson Andy Watson, it may be a radical investigation into the circumstances of an individual’s loss of life that “leaves no stone unturned.”

“The coroners service has a mandate to investigate all sudden and unexpected or unnatural deaths in the province, and in those investigations, look to determine how, where, when and by what means people have come to their death,” mentioned Watson.

Police, he famous, deal with the investigation into doable criminality associated to a loss of life.

With suspects dead, answers about B.C. homicides may be hard to find 2
A casket is loaded by RCMP right into a airplane close to Gillam, Man. on Aug. 7. RCMP confirmed Monday the 2 our bodies present in northern Manitoba are these of murder suspects Kam McLeod and Bryer Schmegelsky, and mentioned the 2 died in what seems to be suicides by gunfire. (CBC)

Within the case of Deese and Fowler, the younger couple gunned down in northern B.C., police revealed the place, when and by what means they had been killed, and Watson mentioned the coroner’s report will not tackle the “why.” That is a query for police. 

A coroner’s report could take many months to wrap up, however as soon as it is full, it is made public — typically with some sections held again.

Although the suspects had been charged with Dyck’s homicide, police by no means mentioned how he was killed. They solely known as the loss of life “suspicious” proper up till a second-degree homicide fees had been laid in opposition to McLeod and Schmegelsky July 24 in connection together with his loss of life.

Will there be an inquest?

In lieu of a felony trial, a coroners’ service can announce an inquest, one other type of formal courtroom continuing the place witness testimony, paperwork and police accounts are thought of by a jury and made public.

Watson mentioned the three deaths in northern B.C. do not meet the necessities for a compulsory coroner’s inquest, which could make suggestions that would stop comparable deaths sooner or later — not discover fault or lay blame. An inquest is necessary if the deceased was within the care or management of a peace officer when she or he died.

Nevertheless, B.C.’s chief coroner, Lisa Lapointe, can select to maintain an inquest if she determines it could be helpful to deal with group concern, help find details about the victims or the circumstances surrounding their loss of life, based on Watson. 

Lapointe has not introduced an inquest into the three B.C. deaths. 

Bruce Pitt-Payne, a retired RCMP investigator who now does consulting and coaching work, mentioned a coroner’s inquest may really reveal extra info than a trial.

Will police share particulars of investigation?

In keeping with Pitt-Payne, RCMP investigators will proceed their work lengthy after the tip of their seek for the suspects. Police cannot contemplate the case closed till a Crown legal professional decides if there was enough proof to put fees — even when the suspects are useless. 

“They’ll be working night and day still, to get as much information as possible,” he mentioned of police.

However Pitt-Payne mentioned the police will not be required to share any of their investigation with the general public as soon as it is concluded, except there’s an inquest. He mentioned they might share info with the households of the victims, who may in flip determine to reveal particulars to the media.

“I’m curious and I wish I knew more,” mentioned Pitt-Payne of the case. “Unfortunately, as with any things in life, if we’re lucky then there’s more we’ll learn about; if we’re not lucky, then there will be unanswered questions.”

The upper the profile of an investigation, the extra questions the general public could have, Watson mentioned.

“Given the fact that there’s two people that are very essential to this story that appear to be deceased now … I think some of those answers, ultimately, would have had to come from those people,” he mentioned.


Do you could have extra so as to add to this story? E mail rafferty.baker@cbc.ca

Comply with Rafferty Baker on Twitter: @raffertybaker

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