Constables charged in man's police-cell death going to trial in October 2019

Two special constables charged in connection with the death of a man found unresponsive in a Halifax police cell almost two years ago won’t go to trial until fall 2019.

Dan Fraser and Cheryl Gardner have each been charged with one count of criminal negligence causing the death of Corey Rogers.

Rogers was arrested for public intoxication outside the IWK Health Centre the night of June 15, 2016. He was taken into custody at Halifax Regional Police headquarters, where he was placed in a cell around 11 p.m.

Police found the 41-year-old man unresponsive in the cell around 1:45 a.m. on June 16. Emergency Health Services were called, but Rogers couldn’t be revived.

Nova Scotia’s Serious Incident Response Team launched an investigation into Rogers’ death and, in November 2017, charged Fraser and Gardner, who were working as booking officers the night Rogers was arrested.

Fraser and Gardner have elected to be tried by a jury at Nova Scotia Supreme Court.

The trial is set to take place from Oct. 28 to Nov. 8, 2019.

Rogers’ mother, Jeannette Rafuse-Rogers, says she was told her son died from asphyxiation. She believes the use of a spit hood – a device that covers a person’s head and prevents them from spitting on police – was a factor in his death.