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EPS Homicide Section lays manslaughter charge following in-custody fentanyl death

For Immediate Release:09-Feb-2017 @ 9:00 AM
MRU #:A-R17001

The Edmonton Police Service (EPS) Homicide Section has laid charges in relation to an in-custody death that occurred in 2016.

On May 19, 2016 at approximately 12:36 a.m., Darcy Whitehead, 47, was lodged in a holding cell within the Detainee Management Unit at EPS Headquarters in relation to a theft and breach of conditions.


Just before 2 a.m. another inmate, Daryl Saunter, 40, was placed into the same holding cell as Whitehead. Saunter then allegedly retrieved a small quantity of concealed drugs and provided a portion to Whitehead. Both men then allegedly consumed the drugs together.


Shortly thereafter, Whitehead went into medical distress and was treated and transported to hospital by EMS, where he died several hours later.


An autopsy was conducted later that day and the Edmonton Medical Examiner determined Whitehead died as a result of alcohol and fentanyl toxicity.


Saunter has been charged with manslaughter, criminal negligence causing death and trafficking a controlled substance in relation to this incident.


*Please note the Alberta Serious Incident Response Team (ASIRT) investigated the in-custody death of Mr. Whitehead. If you have questions of this nature, please contact ASIRT for more information.


Please contact Cheryl Sheppard at (780) 421-2671 for more information.

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