Teen's mom to testify at prison death inquest

The Canadian Press
Associated Press

TORONTO - The mother of a teenager who choked to death in prison is set to testify at her daughter's inquest.

Coralee Smith will be the first witness not connected to the prison or medical system to testify.

Jurors have so far only heard snippets about Ashley Smith's family situation.

Adopted as an infant, Smith was first arrested at 13 for assault and causing a disturbance and jailed at age 15 for throwing crab apples at a postal worker.

Finally, in October 2007, the 19-year-old strangled herself at the Grand Valley Institution in Kitchener, Ont., as guards, under orders not to intervene, stood by.

Jurors today heard how a guard referred to the troubled teen as "basically a kid inside an adult's body."