Manitoba

J.P. Beaumont jail death inquest hearing date set, sister hopes for closure

A hearing has been set to determine who can participate in the upcoming inquest into the jail death of a high-ranking Manitoba biker gang member.

High-ranking Manitoba biker gang member died at Brandon Correctional Centre in 2012

A hearing date has been set to determine who can participate in the upcoming inquest into the jail death of a high-ranking Manitoba biker gang member. 1:34

A hearing date has been set to determine who can participate in the upcoming inquest into the jail death of a high-ranking Manitoba biker gang member.

Jean Paul (J.P.) Beaumont, 39, was an inmate at the Brandon Correctional Centre when he was found dead on Oct. 14, 2012.

His death, which was called suspicious at first, prompted an investigation by the Brandon Police Service and the RCMP.

It was later deemed non-criminal with the cause determined to be a morphine overdose.

How he accessed the morphine and how it got into his system, however, has never come out. Beaumont's sister, Suzanne, hopes the inquest reveals that.

"I was never able to mourn my brother's death. I was never able to mourn my brother. It was a dangerous time," Suzanne Beaumont said. "We didn't have a funeral for him because we feared retaliation. So yeah, the inquest will help to bring some closure."
A hearing date has been set to determine who can participate in the upcoming inquest into the jail death of a high-ranking Manitoba biker gang member. 0:55

Beaumont died five days before he was scheduled to go on trial on one count of flight from police. He had another court date scheduled in November 2012 for dangerous driving and alleged breaches of his bail conditions.

Court documents submitted by the Winnipeg Police Service's organized crime unit at the time show Beaumont was the sergeant-at-arms and a full-patch member of the Rock Machine.

The gang had been embroiled in a turf war in Manitoba with the Hells Angels and their puppet clubs.

Beaumont's house was shot at in 2010, and he fled the province. He was later arrested in Toronto and sent back to Manitoba because he was on bail at the time.

The inquest will explore the circumstances leading to Beaumont's death for the purpose of finding out what, if anything, might be done to prevent similar deaths in the future.

Before it begins, a judge must decide who can participate in the process and question witnesses. Individuals and groups are allowed to make an application to be granted standing.

Those interested in applying for standing should contact lawyer Ron Toews, who will lead the inquest, at 204-726-6012 or by email at ron.toews@gov.mb.ca by June 15. 

The standing hearing will be June 23 at 2 p.m. in courtroom 102 at Brandon Provincial Court.