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Inquest called into inmate’s death in Maple Ridge prison

Robbie Slatten
Robbie Slatten's death will be investigated via a coroner's inquest. The inquest begins Jan. 16, 2013.
— image credit: methadoneblues.blogspot.com

The B.C. Coroner’s Service will investigate the death of an inmate who overdosed on methadone in a Maple Ridge men’s prison.

The inquest into Robert Wayne (Robbie) Slatten’s death is set to begin in January.

Slatten, 31, was an inmate at the Fraser Regional Correctional Centre on Oct. 19, 2010, when he was found unresponsive in his cell.

Slatten, a Mission resident, was not on the methadone-maintenance program when he drank the fatal dose.

According to a critical incident review obtained via a freedom-of-information request, Slatten used the photo ID of his cell mate, who was on the methadone program, to obtain the synthetic drug used to wean addicts off opiates such as heroin.

The dose was administered to him by a nurse who was on her second orientation shift at the prison.

The review states she should only have been shadowing a more experienced colleague, but ended up administering methadone to inmates because another nurse called in sick.

Presiding coroner Liana Wright and a jury will hear evidence from subpoenaed witnesses to determine the facts surrounding Slatten’s death.

While the jury may not, by law, make any findings of legal responsibility, it will have the opportunity to make recommendations aimed at preventing deaths under similar circumstances in the future.

The inquest will begin on Jan. 16, 2013 at the B.C. Coroners Service courtroom in Burnaby.

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