Surakka’s daughter, Lisa Dudley, and her partner, Guthrie McKay were shot in their Mission home in September 2008.
This week, the BC Coroners Service has scheduled a public inquest into Dudley’s death. to begin June 11, 2018, in Burnaby.
The inquest was announced initially in 2010. According to a press release, the inquest dates were confirmed only now, so as not to interfere with criminal proceedings, which concluded in 2017.
When the shooting occurred in 2008, McKay died at the scene, but Dudley, who was 37 at the time, stayed alive for four days before finally being discovered by a neighbour. She was airlifted to hospital, but died later that day.
Four men were eventually convicted in the pair’s death: Jack Woodruff, Justin MacKinnon, Bruce Main and Thomas Holden.
Surakka, alleged that RCMP officers’ negligence delayed the finding of her daughter, which caused or contributed to her death, according to court documents.
In February of 2018, a B.C. Supreme Court judge dismissed Surakka’s lawsuit claiming the RCMP failed to properly investigate the death of her daughter.
During the investigation and the four separate trials, court heard that the officer investigating a shots fired call at the couple’s home left the scene after being there for approximately 10 minutes, without going inside, and did not follow up the next day.
Four years later, RCMP Cpl. Mike White was reprimanded and docked one day’s pay following a review by the adjudication board.
Beginning June 11, 2018, presiding coroner Brynne Redford and a jury will hear evidence from witnesses under oath to determine the facts surrounding this death. The jury will have the opportunity to make recommendations aimed at preventing deaths under similar circumstances.
A jury must not make any finding of legal responsibility or express any conclusion of law.
The BC Coroners Service had also previously announced its intention to hold an inquest into the death of McKay.
The press release notes that while the circumstances of both deaths were explored through criminal proceedings that concluded in 2017, Dudley’s death raises issues that are not applicable to McKay’s death. The chief coroner has therefore determined there will not be an inquest for McKay’s death.
The inquest will be held at the Burnaby Coroners’ Court, 20th Floor – 4720 Kingsway, Metrotower II, Metrotown, Burnaby.