Inmate who died at Saskatoon jail overdosed twice in 24-hour period

A coroner's inquest in Saskatoon is hearing how 22-year-old Kevin Umpherville overdosed twice in 24 hours at the Saskatoon Correctional Centre.

Kevin Umpherville taken to hospital and then returned hours before fatal overdose

Kevin Umpherville overdosed while in custody. (CBC)

Kevin Ryan Umpherville overdosed twice in a 24-hour span at the Saskatoon Correctional Centre before dying at Royal University Hospital on Jan. 15, 2016.

Three men and three women are hearing the circumstances around the 22-year-old's death at a coroner's inquest in Saskatoon. It began Monday morning and is scheduled to hear 18 witnesses.

Sgt. Neil Lund is a major crimes investigator with the Saskatoon Police Service. He said that Umpherville had been arrested and charged in connection with a domestic dispute on Dec. 25, 2015.

That's when he was placed in an overflow dorm at the jail.

Code blue called

The first indication that something was wrong came when Umpherville didn't present himself next to his bunk during a routine inmate count just before lunch on Dec. 30. Correctional officer Carla Scherr said she discovered him limp and face down on his bunk, with a purple hue to his complexion.

Staff called a 'code blue' medical alert. Umpherville was revived.

Lund said investigators discovered a deck of playing cards on top of a utility box in the dorm. Inside the box was powdered methadone wrapped inside a folded sheet of paper, Lund said.

Discovered unresponsive again

Umpherville spent 10 hours at Royal University Hospital and was returned to the jail at around 10:30 p.m. CST and placed in an individual cell.

The next morning, Dec. 31, he did not come out for breakfast. He was again discovered unresponsive, only this time he did not regain consciousness.

His family removed him from life support two weeks later,

 Although there is methadone administered to inmates, it's delivered in a liquid form in the medical unit, jurors heard. Inmates on the methadone program must also stay inside the unit for 30 minutes after taking the liquid to ensure it's digested.