The BC Coroners Service has scheduled an inquest into the death of Nicolas Allan Jeppesen.
The inquest is set to begin on Aug. 30 at the Terrace Sportsplex, where Susan Barth, presiding coroner, and a jury will hear from witnesses under oath to learn more about the death of Jeppesen, 29, who died after a police-involved incident in Terrace on Aug. 18, 2016.
A 2018 Independent Investigations Office report based on the statements of 12 civilian witnesses cleared police of wrongdoing in Jeppesen’s death.
The report stated that Terrace RCMP responded to an afternoon 911 call from a woman outside Mills Memorial Hospital saying her boyfriend had cut himself with a hunter’s axe and was threatening to harm himself further.
Two Mounties used Tasers in an effort to apprehend the man, but he then quickly used the axe to cut his own neck. He died a short time later.
The upcoming inquest is required under law because Jeppesen died while in custody of a peace officer. It will give the coroner and jury a chance to make recommendations with the goal of avoiding future deaths under similar circumstances, but cannot make any findings of legal responsibility or express any conclusion of law.
“An inquest is a formal process that allows public presentation of evidence relating to a death. The jury will certify the identity of the deceased and how, where, when and by what means the death occurred. The jury may also make recommendations about any matter arising out of the inquest,” the BC Coroners Service stated in an Aug. 19 statement.
“The BC Coroners Service looks to gather the facts surrounding why a death took place. It is not a fault-finding agency. It provides an independent service to the family, community, government agencies and other organizations.”
The inquest will be streamed live to the BC Coroners Service website, with links to be posted soon.
— With files from Quinn Bender