Inquest ordered into Penticton man’s death

The B.C. Coroners Service will hold an inquest into the death of Penticton man.

The B.C. Coroners Service will hold an inquest into the death of Penticton man.

Gordon Brent Amyotte, 39, collapsed after being arrested by Penticton RCMP on May 28, 2010.

At the time, RCMP were called to downtown Penticton for a complaint of a male exhibiting erratic behaviour. Upon police arrival the B.C. Ambulance service was already working on Amyotte who was lying on the ground in the 400 block of Martin Street. After being cleared by B.C. Ambulance, RCMP officers arrested Amyotte and were walking him to the police vehicle when he suddenly collapsed. B.C. Ambulance was still at the scene and again provided medical assistance, transporting the male to Penticton Regional Hospital where he was pronounced dead.

Police said Amyotte was known to them as a prolific thief with a list of charges dating back to 2002.

In the weeks after Amyotte’s death, the New Westminister police service was asked to investigate the incident and asked for witnesses to contact them. The inquest into the death of Amyotte is scheduled for Jan. 16 to 20, 2012 at the Penticton courthouse.

An inquest is a formal court proceeding that allows for public presentation of all evidence relating to a death. The B.C. Coroners Service is an independent fact-finding agency that may not make any finding of legal responsibility.

Presiding Coroner Mark Coleman and a jury will hear evidence from subpoenaed witnesses to determine and make public the facts surrounding Amyotte’s death. The jury will have the opportunity to make recommendations aimed at preventing deaths under similar circumstances in the future.