(File photo: Tom Zytaruk)

Inquest scheduled into inmate’s death at Surrey Pretrial Centre

John Michael Murphy, 25, died following fight with cellmate in August 2016

The BC Coroners Service has scheduled an inquest into the 2016 death of a 25-year-old man at Surrey Pretrial Service Centre.

John Michael Murphy died after a fight with his cellmate on Aug. 3, 2016. His death was reported to the BC Coroners Service the next day.

Jordan Cole Burt, 22, was sentenced in 2018 to five-and-a-half years after pleading guilty to manslaughter but with credit for time served, it amounted to little more than two years and six months.

READ ALSO: Charge now laid in Surrey jail killing

Police said the two men didn’t know each other prior to their incarceration and were sharing a cell while waiting to appear in court in unrelated cases. Both were in jail for breach of probation, and Burt was just two weeks from release.

During the fight, Burt held Murphy in a chokehold for more than 10 minutes.

Police say correctional officers intervened in the fight, which happened at around 7:30 p.m., and separated the two men. Murphy was taken to hospital with extensive injuries and died at hospital early the next morning.

An inquest is a formal process that allows for public presentation of evidence relating to a death. A jury will officially determine the identity of the deceased and how, where, when and by what means death occurred.

The inquest is scheduled for Nov. 12, 2019, at the Burnaby Coroners’ Court and Larry Marzinzik will be the presiding coroner.



beau.simpson@surreynowleader.com

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