Preliminary inquiry starts for former coroner accused of interfering with bodies

Kenneth Glen Mattinson charged in connection with murder victims in Langley and Coquitlam.

Ex-coroner Kenneth Mattinson (seen here in an undated photo) is charged with two counts of interfering with a dead body in connection with the examination of murder victims Laura Lynne Lamoureux and Brianna Helen Kinnear.

The Crown’s case against a former coroner from Chilliwack accused of improperly examining two female murder victims in Coquitlam and Langley is being laid out in court this week.

A preliminary inquiry into charges against Kenneth Glen Mattinson opened Thursday morning in Surrey Provincial Court. The actual trial will come later, if a judge determines there is sufficient evidence to proceed.

Evidence given during the preliminary inquiry is subject to a publication ban and cannot be reported.

Mattinson, 63, was charged in October 2010 with two counts each of interference with a dead body and breach of trust by a public officer. At the time of his arrest, the RCMP said a forensic identification officer at a crime scene in Langley “noticed what appeared to be a pattern of questionable and possibly criminal behaviour in the manipulation of bodies.”

The investigation, police said, involved examinations at crime scenes after two separate murders: the shooting of 21-year-old Brianna Helen Kinnear (above, right) in Coquitlam in February 2009 and the Langley shooting a month later of 36-year-old Laura Lynne Lamoureux (above, left).

Police said Mattinson retired from the B.C. Coroners Service shortly after the investigation was launched.

Mattinson, a tall, balding man with a short beard and glasses, listened and occasionally spoke to his lawyer as evidence was given in court Thursday morning.

Two friends of one of the victims also attended court, one of them leaving in tears at one point.

Mattinson’s preliminary inquiry was scheduled for two days.

– with files from Sarah Payne and Robert Freeman

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