Former warden set to testify at coroner's inquest into death of Ashley Smith

TORONTO – A coroner’s inquest into the death of Ashley Smith is scheduled to hear today from a former warden at the prison where the teenager choked herself to death while guards watched.

Brinda Wilson-Demuth, the former warden at the Grand Valley Institution in Kitchener, Ont., is set to testify at the inquest.

The inquest heard yesterday from a senior manager at the prison who testified she was unaware of any orders to officers to stay out of the inmate’s cell as long as she was still breathing.

Current deputy warden Nicki Smith also said she could not remember being asked directly by frontline staff for direction on the issue.

The troubled Smith, who was prone to frequent self-harming, was 19 when she died in her segregation cell in October 2007.

The inquest has heard from guards that senior managers ordered them to stay out of Smith’s cell as long as she was breathing, because they believed the teen was simply acting out.

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