Process determining if Thunder Bay police officers will face hearings over DeBungee investigation continues

A panel of judges is deliberating whether to allow public access to a meeting that will determine if three Thunder Bay police officers will face a disciplinary hearing for neglect of duty.

Arguments heard during Thursday court proceeding in Thunder Bay

Stacy DeBungee's body was found in the McIntyre River in Thunder Bay on Oct. 19, 2015. (CBC)

A panel of three judges has begun deliberating whether to allow public access to a meeting that will determine if three Thunder Bay police officers will face a disciplinary hearing for neglect of duty.

The officers are accused of neglect of duty over the investigation into the death of Stacy DeBungee of Rainy River First Nation, whose body was found in the McIntyre River in Thunder Bay in 2015.

A report by the Ontario Independent Police Review Director concluded that homicide had been ruled out too quickly in the investigation.

However, the deadline to inform the officers they would be facing a disciplinary hearing has passed, and if a hearing is to proceed, an extension must be granted.

At issue is an earlier ruling that the hearing, to determine if an extension will be granted, would be closed to the public.

An application by CBC, and the DeBungee family along with his community, to open the hearing to the public was heard Thursday in a Thunder Bay court.

The panel of judges did not arrive at a decision. No date has been set for the matter's return.