Ontario family members accuse pathologist of negligence in death of teen

An ongoing controversy surrounding Ontario’s lead pathologist and the province’s chief medical examiner, Michel Yergeau, has been largely mismanaged and poorly managed, says family members of a 17-year-old girl who was killed.

A group of parents of minors – apparently Yergeau’s foremost critics – presented public documents to the Ontario legislature on Saturday that they say expose the conduct of the expert witness. The group is called MASS Chapter 8 (Mea Culpa for Media Matters) and it has been urging politicians to put an end to what they call a “cover-up of sorts” of Yergeau’s role in the alleged mismanagement of the death of Montreal teenager Kiera Wilfred.

Kiera Wilfred (left) and her best friend, Lorin Hermant. Photograph: Maria Elodhi for the Guardian

Yergeau is already being criticized by the coroner, police and Ontario ombudsman over his investigation into Kiera’s death, which led to the internal discipline of two employees of the coroner’s office, who have subsequently refused to testify in court.

The now 28-year-old Kiera Wilfred died after being stabbed multiple times on 19 December, 2016, in her home in the Montreal suburb of Westmount. The woman who stabbed Kiera has been charged with second-degree murder. Her father, Alexander Wilfred, has also been charged with manslaughter.

Alexander Wilfred, speaking from jail, has accused Yergeau of incompetence, claiming he was not allowed to formally perform Kiera’s autopsy and that he refused to allow Alexander and his family to view the report. Alexander Wilfred has also been charged with manslaughter.

“The family has been waiting for the report ever since [her death] for several months,” his brother, Christian Wilfred, told reporters following Saturday’s legislative meeting. “We have said publicly that we want this report to be made public, that we think it needs to be made public as soon as possible.”

On Saturday, the group presented written accusations against Yergeau to the legislature.

The Ontario coroner’s office did not immediately respond to requests for comment.

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