Constable testifies he wasn't required to enter cell to check on inmate who died


A special constable facing criminal charges in the death of an inmate in a Halifax jail testified today he didn't believe he was required to enter the cell to check on the highly impaired man.

Constables Daniel Fraser and Cheryl Gardner are on trial in Nova Scotia Supreme Court for criminal negligence causing the death of Corey Rogers on June 16, 2016.

Fraser testified today that while he knew Rogers was highly intoxicated and couldn't answer questions, he didn't consider the inmate was "high risk," and therefore he didn't need to go into the cell and touch him.

A Nova Scotia jury has viewed video of Rogers heaving in the cell while wearing a spit hood, and an autopsy states the heaving suggested the inmate had vomited into the mask and suffocated.

Fraser testified he wasn't aware the spit hood was on for over two hours, and he said he didn't hear an officer comment that Rogers had rapidly chugged a half pint of whisky before being brought in.

The special constable said a manager had confirmed he only had to enter a cell and closely check on inmates if they were considered "high risk," and he didn't believe Rogers fell into that category.