Manslaughter charges have been dropped against Ryan Darbyshire after a coroner’s report concluded the cause of death to be hypothermia.
On October 9, Jason Selamio was discovered dead in an alleyway behind the Salvation Army’s shelter.
Originally from Aklavik, NWT, Selamio was 37 years old and living homeless in Whitehorse.
He had been drinking that evening.
At 6 p.m., he got into a drunken altercation with 24-year-old Darbyshire, which was witnessed by a number of men and women.
The police were called to the scene later that evening – due to an unrelated incident – and discovered Selamio’s lifeless body slumped against a wall.
“He had bruises on the scalp and the face and lacerations and bruises on the lip and tongue,” chief coroner Sharon Hanley said on Friday.
“It was enough to make the RCMP want to investigate further.”
However, the pathologist’s report showed that Selamio had died of hypothermia due to acute alcohol intoxication.
The temperature that night was around -1C°, said Hanley.
Alcohol reduces your body temperature and makes you unaware of what’s happening.
It’s unclear how long Selamio was lying in the alley before he was discovered by police.
Unfortunately, Selamio’s cause of death is not uncommon in the territory, said Hanley.
“We usually get a couple cases a year, on average.”
The charges against Darbyshire were dropped last Wednesday and he has since been released from prison.
Contact Chris Oke at email@example.com