Allentown
36° F
Overcast
Overcast

Rare coroner's inquest seeks to find out how inmate died

Published On: Mar 31 2014 05:00:01 PM CDT
Updated On: Mar 31 2014 06:32:54 PM CDT

Because cameras aren't usually allowed in Pennsylvania courtrooms, it's a legal drama not typically seen on TV for a case that's anything but typical.

Because cameras aren't usually allowed in Pennsylvania courtrooms, it's a legal drama not typically seen on TV for a case that's anything but typical.

It's called a coroner's inquest.

Think more preliminary hearing than trial.

If you've never heard of a coroner's inquest don't feel bad; the last time one happened in Schuylkill County was more than a decade ago, 15 years to be exact.

The jury hears testimony then delivers a recommendation of what to do next.

"Their purpose is to tell us if they believed there was criminality or neglect that took place," Holman explained.

The jury's verdict is expected the same day.

For a grieving mother it could be one step closer in finding out exactly what happened to her son.

"We have a young man, age 21, presented to prison 10. Doesn't appear at this point as if drugs were brought into prison yet he died of a heroin overdose," Schuylkill County DA Christine Holman said.

Last Easter Sunday, 21-year-old Matthew Koncsler was found dead in his cell inside the Schuylkill County Prison.

"The exact manner left some questions for us and main reason why we are pursuing it with a six person's coroner jury," county coroner David Moylan said.