Brian Slatten has no illusions about how his younger brother Robbie lived his life.
“I knew he’d made lots of bad decisions, right,” Brian said Wednesday. “That’s how he was, making bad decisions his whole life.”
However, Brian tried to provide guidance and hoped Robbie, who was five years his junior, would eventually meet a woman, have a family, and find his way.
But it was not to be. Robert Wayne (Robbie) Slatten, 31, was found unresponsive in his cell at Fraser Regional Correctional Centre in Maple Ridge shortly before 7 p.m. on Oct. 19, 2010. It was later determined that he died of acute methadone intoxication.
Events leading up to Slatten’s death were revealed during testimony from corrections officers, a former inmate, and a nurse at a coroner’s inquest that began Wednesday.
During breakfast on Oct. 19, Slatten stole his cellmate’s telephone card, which is used as a form of identification in the correctional centre.
He then presented the identification to nurse Lorraine Geng, who administered the medication on Slatten’s unit that day. Slatten’s cellmate, Mohamed Amarhoun, was part of the methadone program.
Geng had started working at FRCC the day before and said she felt comfortable administering medication by herself because she had done it previously at another facility.
Geng checked Amarhoun’s card against Slatten’s face and was satisfied with what she saw.
She gave Slatten the methadone and continued making her rounds.
Corrections officer Bobbi Nyhus said the last time she saw Slat-ten outside his cell was between 10: 30 a.m. and 11: 30 a.m. Every 45 minutes, corrections officers checked on Slatten through his cell door.
Around 6: 40 p.m., inmate James MacDonald approached the officers and told them that Slatten was sick.
When Nyhus and Martens went to Slatten’s cell, they found him unresponsive. They told a supervisor and health services. Despite the efforts of corrections officers, health staff, firefighters and paramedics, Slatten was declared dead in his cell.
- Jennifer Saltman is with The Province
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