News Release

SIU Lays Charges against OPP and London Police Officers in Relation to Death of Woman

Case Number: 16-PCD-229   

Mississauga, ON (13 July, 2017) ---
The Director of the Special Investigations Unit, Tony Loparco, has caused charges to be laid against two police officers in relation to the September 2016 death of 39-year-old Debra Chrisjohn.

The SIU investigation found the following: 
  • In response to calls made to 911 in the late afternoon hours of September 7, 2016, London Police Service (LPS) officers were dispatched to the area of Trafalgar Street and Highbury Avenue North.
  • Ms. Chrisjohn was arrested by LPS, and transferred on an outstanding warrant into the custody of Ontario Provincial Police (OPP) officers with the Elgin County detachment. 
  • At 7:52 p.m., Emergency Medical Services transported Ms. Chrisjohn to St. Thomas Hospital.
  • Ms. Chrisjohn was pronounced dead at 8:43 p.m.

As a result of the SIU investigation, OPP Constable Mark McKillop and LPS Constable Nicholas Doering are each facing the following charges under the Criminal Code:
  • One count of criminal negligence causing death, contrary to section 220(b); and 
  • One count of failing to provide the necessaries of life, contrary to section 215(2)(b).

The officers are required to appear before the Ontario Court of Justice at 80 Dundas Street in London on July 31, 2017. 

The matter is now properly before the courts. In consideration of the fair trial interests of the accused, the SIU will make no further comment.  

The SIU is an independent government agency that investigates the conduct of officials (police officers as well as special constables with the Niagara Parks Commission and peace officers with the Legislative Protective Service) that may have resulted in death, serious injury, sexual assault and/or the discharge of a firearm at a person. All investigations are conducted by SIU investigators who are civilians. Under the Special Investigations Unit Act, the Director of the SIU must

  • consider whether the official has committed a criminal offence in connection with the incident under investigation
  • depending on the evidence, cause a criminal charge to be laid against the official where grounds exist for doing so, or close the file without any charges being laid
  • publicly report the results of its investigations

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