ADAMS COUNTY, Colo. (KDVR) – The autopsy report of a young man who died after an encounter with Aurora police and paramedics has been changed.
This is described as a very unusual move. The story regarding the altered autopsy was first reported on Friday by Colorado Public Radio.
FOX31 has now independently confirmed the information.
The chief coroner said his office had received confidential information from the grand jury containing confidential information and could not disclose anything further.
“So we filed a lawsuit under the Open Records Act asking a court to order it to release any parts of the completed or amended autopsy report that do not disclose the grand jury documents. And that would include manner of death and cause of death,” Colorado Public Radio prosecutor Steven Zansberg said.
The original autopsy said McClain’s cause of death was “undetermined”.
CPR attorney Steven Zansberg, who also represents FOX31, says it’s unclear if the manner of death has been changed.
“She (the coroner) says the revised autopsy report contains such information and she will not release it,” Zansberg said.
There have been many questions about McClain’s cause of death after he was placed in a carotid socket and given ketamine.
An undetermined cause of death makes it extremely difficult to pursue a case, said FOX31 legal expert George Brauchler.
“The person she hired to do it came back and said I can’t tell you why Elijah McClain died. If you’re a prosecutor, that’s a reasonable doubt. That’s the end of your case. in my opinion,” Brauchler added.
We reached out to McLain’s mother for her opinion on the matter.
“Ms. McLain is awaiting guidance from the court on her ability to discuss matters relating to the grand jury and the coroner’s report,” Sheneen McClain’s attorney Siddhartha Rathod said.
Three police officers and two paramedics face charges of manslaughter and criminally negligent homicide in McClain’s death and are due to appear for arraignment in November.
FOX31 learns that the coroner may have to appear before a judge to explain why the autopsy is being kept confidential.
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