Questions still without answers at Mesic inquest

Hamilton, ON, Canada / AM900 CHML

17 witnesses later, many questions remain unanswered at the coroner’s inquest examining the death of Steve Mesic.

The latest to complete their testimony include four members of the province’s special investigations unit, which cleared of any criminal wroungdoing the two officers responsible for shooting and killing the 45 year old Hamilton man last June 7th.

Lead SIU investigator Dean Seymour was recalled to the stand on Monday to answer one question.

The lawyer representing the Mesic family asked Seymour if he “turned his mind to the possibility” that Mesic could have been shot from a distance of 30 feet, rather than five-or-six feet as testified by the officer’s involved. Seymour’s response was simply that “I may have briefly”.

Other SIU forensic investigators have stated that there was “no trail of blood” to the location where Mesic’s body came to rest and no blood or gunshot damage on the shovel that he is said to have been wielding during his confrontation with police.

The SIU’s David Klodt, who was in charge of mapping the scene, took jurors through a diagram showing where the cartridge cases were found but he stresses that their location doesn’t tell you where either the shooter or the deceased were standing because of “many variables”.

The courtroom, including Sharon Dorr, also endured a video of the shooting scene in which her fiancee’s body was blurred out while lying in a field beside their mountain townhouse.

Another unanswered question is why notations in the hospital records showed Mesic being “on ward” at St. Joseph’s Hospital, even as he was lying dead several kilometres away.

Dr. Miriam Spinner, who had admitted him to the psychiatric ward three days earlier, could say only that “I don’t know why that happened”. Under questioning from the coroner she’s admitted that it may help to review the hospital’s system for keeping track of patients.

Dr. Spinner adds that Mesic was admitted with “long standing unhappiness” and “pain from childhood issues”, specifically an “abusive, alcoholic father”.

The issue of lapel cameras for Hamilton Police officers was also back on the table, with an SIU investigator voicing the opinion that they would be helpful for investigations. A lawyer representing the police service countered by pointing out a number of concerns with such techonology, including storage capacity, cost and the will of the public.

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