Presiding officer in Matthew Mahoney inquest mulling use of force, as final submissions expected

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The inquest into the death of Matthew Mahoney could hear final submissions Thursday.  (Submitted by Michael Mahoney - image credit)
The inquest into the death of Matthew Mahoney could hear final submissions Thursday. (Submitted by Michael Mahoney - image credit)

Final submissions are set to happen today in the Matthew Mahoney inquest after witness testimony wrapped up on Wednesday, though presiding officer, Daniel Ambrosini, is left with a question about the inquest's scope when it comes to police use of force protocols.

The inquest is looking into the circumstances around which Matthew Mahoney was shot and killed by a police officer in downtown Windsor in spring of 2018. Closing submissions are expected to take place Thursday.

After excusing the five-person jury from the room, council for the office of the solicitor general, Deanna Exner, argued the scope of the inquest did not include any indication that would suggest that training on use of force or anything that has to do with use of force would be covered.

"We didn't suggest that other witnesses be called because we thought the scope was a particular scope," she said.

"What I am requesting of you is a ruling on whether, in light of everything I've said and the reminder on scope that we've received, whether the parties are going to be able to make recommendations regarding training and matters that touch use of force."

Exner says she could ask for an adjournment depending on Ambrosini's ruling.

Dan Scott, counsel for Const. Andre Marentette, the officer who shot Mahoney, agreed with Exner.

"If those questions are permitted, there certainly would have been a series of other questions that would have been asked because it is really calling into question the conduct of the officers involved in the shooting," he said.

Jenny Stephenson is counsel for Dr. Abdul Aleen Khan, who testified on Mahoney's prior medical history as his treating physician in August of 2017.

"It's something that's really been dealt with in the inquest fairly extensively and the evidence is in now and the jurors have asked questions about it," she said.

Stephenson said it would not be appropriate to restrict the jury from making submissions based on what they've heard in the inquest but added that they should always be restricted to making their findings based on evidence.

"I think what may be getting us into trouble here is a technical definition of what is use of force," she said.