: Who is the tarrant county medical examiner
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|Who is the tarrant county medical examiner|
|Who is the tarrant county medical examiner|
|Who is the tarrant county medical examiner|
|Who is the tarrant county medical examiner|
History of the Medical Examiner's Office
In 1956, Bexar County had an estimated population of 710,451. The Medical Examiner's Office consisted of three (3) full-time and six (6) part-time employees. The Medical Examiner, Dr. Robert Hausman, was a qualified Forensic Pathologist who performed both the administrative duties of the office and nearly all the medico legal autopsies. In 1957, the cost to operate the Bexar County Medical Examiner's Office was 4.2 cents annually per capita. In the first 4 months of the Office, 249 deaths (16.5% of all deaths in Bexar County) were investigated, 95 violent deaths and 154 natural deaths, and 131 autopsies were performed. Blood alcohol samples were initially sent to Austin to the State crime who is the tarrant county medical examiner. On May 15, 1958, the first Toxicologist was hired, with the first toxicology test performed on July 31, 1958 for arsenic. Medical Investigators employed by the Medical Examiner's Office did not begin to go to death scenes until January of 1982.
In 1969, the Administrative Office and Laboratory moved to the Robert B. Green Hospital. It remained there until October 1978 when the BCMEO moved to a new 16,000 sq. ft. building at 600 North Leona. In June 1993, the BCMEO moved to a new 52,000 sq. ft facility on the campus of the University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio, which it shares with the Bexar County Criminal Investigation Laboratory.
The BCMEO Today
The Bexar County Medical Examiner's Office is accredited by the National Association of Medical Examiners. The office operates a fully accredited training program (fellowship) in Forensic Pathology, and provides pathology resident and medical student teaching services for the adjacent University of Texas Health Sciences Center School of Medicine and for the local military pathology training program. The Toxicology Section of the BCMEO is one of only approximately 30 institutions in the United States and Canada accredited by the American Board of Forensic Toxicology. The Toxicology and Medical Investigations Sections of the Office also offer competitive internship opportunities in their respective areas for interested and qualified university students.
The office operations are divided into six sections:
- Medical Examiner
- Office Services
In addition to having jurisdiction over deaths occurring within Bexar County, the Bexar County Medical Examiner's Office also provides forensic autopsy services for many of the smaller, predominately rural counties in the surrounding area of South and Central Texas. In such cases, jurisdiction over the case investigation is retained by the Justice of the Peace in the county of origin, but the BCMEO will provide autopsy services and professional consultation on a fee-for-service basis.
All staff Medical Examiners are required to be board certified in Anatomic and Forensic Pathology by the American Board of Pathology. The Medical Investigators in the office all receive requisite training to obtain Texas Peace Officer certification, and are also required to obtain certification by the American Board of Medicolegal Death Investigation during their first two (2) years of employment. Many Toxicology Chemists are certified by the American Board of Forensic Toxicology, and many have advanced degrees in their field. The Chief Toxicologist is required to have a doctoral level degree.
The Bexar County Medical Examiner's Office continues to expand to keep pace with a rapidly growing San Antonio metropolitan area. The goal of the office is to continue to provide the finest in forensic pathology and death santander online banking login spain services to its citizens, while maximizing efficiency in the expenditures of taxpayer dollars. We strive to provide outreach and training to the local medical community, civic groups, and law enforcement and judicial officials from Bexar and surrounding counties.
To that end, Medical Examiners give frequent presentations on topics of forensic pathology to a variety of local groups. Our staff members also support local interdisciplinary organizations such as Child Fatality Review Teams on a regular basis. The training of young physicians in the field of forensic pathology is an ongoing priority of the office, and medical students, pathology and pediatric residents, and forensic pathology fellows train in the facility. The office frequently hosts forensic pathologists, physicians, and investigators from other countries during visits who is the tarrant county medical examiner the United Who is the tarrant county medical examiner to learn about American forensic pathology practice and death investigation.
‘Nobody will tell me the truth’: US man’s death pinned on cougar attack; wildlife experts say no way
An investigation by US new service The Dallas Morning News has found that from its earliest moments, the examination into a Texas man’s death was riddled with false assumptions and errors.
With a mountain lion skull tucked safely under his arm, Mike Bodenchuk walked a couple of kilometres across downtown Fort Worth, Texas to the medical examiner’s office.
A US federal wildlife expert with more than four decades of experience, Bodenchuk had been asked to help with a death investigation. The body of a 28-year-old man found dead four days earlier was already on an exam table when he arrived.
His obvious cause of death was a jagged tear around the right side of his neck. It had exposed vital tissue and who is the tarrant county medical examiner his jugular vein.
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A wild predator must have killed him, deputies and medical examiners assumed within hours of finding the body near a wooded creek bed about 88.5km away in Hood County. Maybe, they thought, a mountain lion.
Before wildlife experts could evaluate all the evidence, the Hood County sheriff’s office issued a warning: Residents needed to be on the lookout for a killer feline.
Bodenchuk had already seen photos from the autopsy by the time he arrived for the December 7 meeting in Fort Worth. He had already visited the creek bed where the body was found.
He knew it was practically impossible that a wild animal was involved. He brought the mountain lion skull because he thought it would help explain to the sheriff’s deputies and medical examiners why they were wrong.
But when the meeting started, it was clear they had already made up their minds.
While Bodenchuk and the others argued, Jonah Evans listened through a speakerphone. Evans was then the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department’s state mammalogist, and is an internationally recognised expert in tracking all kinds of wildlife, including mountain lions.
He was asked to lend his own expertise to the case, and he meticulously chronicled his worries throughout the investigation in a journal on his computer.
“Perhaps the concern is that if it is a homicide, they may have severely mishandled the case,” Evans wrote after the meeting. “I don’t understand how the sheriff’s office and M.E. [medical examiner] could so quickly rule out a homicide.
“I’m really concerned about the possibility that a murder[er is] out right now and has gotten away with this crime.”
Christopher Allen Whiteley, a chronic methamphetamine user with a long and violent criminal record, was found dead last December outside Lipan, a town of about 400. His autopsy showed he was probably high when he died.
Two days after finding him, Hood County investigators told who is the tarrant county medical examiner family and the public that an animal was to blame. They stuck to their story and still do, though the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department and other experts say that it’s extremely unlikely that a wild animal killed Whiteley.
The wildlife experts’ belief that an animal couldn’t possibly have killed her son has also left Whiteley’s mother unsure of whose story to trust and what really happened.
From its earliest moments, an investigation by The Dallas Morning News has found, the examination into Whiteley’s death was riddled with false assumptions and errors that forensics and wildlife experts say left too many unanswered questions.
Both the Tarrant County medical examiner’s office and the Hood County sheriff’s office, the two agencies responsible for determining if a crime was committed in Whiteley’s death, have been under fire recently for sloppy work and incomplete investigations.
The News reviewed hundreds of photos, emails, text messages, reports and other documents from local, state and federal agencies that investigated the case. They show that soon after finding his body, Hood County investigators landed on an improbable theory of a mountain lion attack.
Lieutenant Johnny Rose, a spokesman for the Hood County sheriff’s office and the supervisor of the criminal investigations division for the department, was at the scene the night Whiteley’s body was found. He’s convinced that his death was not a homicide.
He said Whiteley’s neck wound did not appear as though it came from a knife or other weapon. By the morning after they found Whiteley’s body, investigators began thinking “outside the box,” Rose said, eventually landing on the theory of a mountain lion attack.
When asked whether other possibilities were considered and what specific evidence was used in developing their theory, Rose said that no other option made sense.
“At the end of the day, you stand on facts and not speculation,” Rose said. “It was pretty clear it wasn’t a homicide or a suicide. The determination that it was a wild animal attack, I was comfortable with that.”
This isn’t the first time the Hood County sheriff’s office has come under scrutiny for cursory death investigations.
Last year, Hood County Sheriff Roger Deeds faced two challengers in the Republican primary for only the second time since he was first elected in 2008. During the campaign, both criticised the department’s investigations under Deeds’ leadership and suggested more training and oversight are necessary.
David Streiff ran against Deeds after a 34-year career in law enforcement and private security. Streiff said deputies are underpaid, undertrained and reluctant to do the hard work of investigating serious crimes.
“Hood County has a reputation as the good-ol-boy network,” Streiff said. “There’s an urgency to clear those as quick as they can rather than do a thorough investigation.”
Deeds ultimately won the Republican primary with 66 per cent of the vote, beating Streiff and the other challenger, a former Dallas police officer.
In an interview with The News this week, Deeds said his investigators did all the right things when looking into Whiteley’s death. He said the blood pattern at the scene, the unusual shape and size of the neck wound and location of the body made it unlikely a human was responsible for the death.
Biologists, however, point to the same evidence to say an animal couldn’t have killed him.
“I can’t believe this has drug out this long,” Deeds said. “People want to crucify us for working as hard as we did, and we did our best. We did everything we could, we got the help that we needed.”
He said they relied on the expertise of other agencies like the Texas Rangers, although none of the reports from his office or any other investigating agency mentions the Rangers’ involvement.
A Texas Department of Public Safety spokeswoman confirmed that the Rangers were called, but directed questions back to the Hood County office.
Rose said a Ranger who was at the scene the night Whiteley’s body was found came to the same conclusions as the local investigators. Rose said the Rangers were not involved after investigators decided an animal was to blame.
Deeds also said the Tarrant County medical examiner’s findings showed the animal attack theory was valid, but the practices and thoroughness of that office have also been criticised this year.
In the months since Whiteley’s autopsy, the two highest-ranking leaders in the office – chief medical examiner Nizam Peerwani and deputy apartments near columbia state community college medical examiner Marc Krouse – have left the office amid a series of errors and controversies.
In March, a Tarrant County judge found that Peerwani had given “false or misleading” testimony in a 2006 capital murder case, saying a victim had been smothered, when he’d actually died of cardiac arrhythmia. The Dallas County district attorney’s office is conducting an independent review of Krouse’s work after an internal audit showed a “lack of due diligence” and “egregious” errors.
Krouse was placed on administrative leave in March and left the office in April. A few weeks later, Peerwani announced he would step down at the end of this month.
Another deputy medical examiner, Susan Roe, completed Whiteley’s autopsy. Through a spokeswoman for the medical examiner’s office, Roe declined to answer questions about the investigation.
Several forensic investigators who were not involved in the case looked at photographs of Whiteley’s body, his autopsy report and other investigative documents for The News. All said it was unclear how Whiteley was injured.
Kendall Crowns, a deputy chief medical examiner in Travis County with a specialty in dog bites and animal-related deaths, said that Whiteley’s neck wound probably came from a bite but that he couldn’t say from what kind of animal.
“Something bigger than a dog,” Crowns said, “so that would rule out coyotes quite quickly, and domestic dogs.”
But that’s the very theory that authorities eventually settled on in January: a dog, or other unspecified animal, was the culprit.
Mountain lions, cougars, pumas – they’re all the same animal, Puma concolor. They’ve never been seen in Hood County, according to the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department. Only about 20 confirmed sightings have occurred outside far South and West Texas in the last five years.
The Texas Parks and Wildlife Department does not have any records of a mountain lion fatally attacking a human in the state’s history. Fewer than 30 have happened nationwide in the last 100 years.
When wildlife experts were called to the creek bed where Whiteley was found, they looked for evidence of any kind of animal attack. If wildlife was involved, then tracks or prints, scat or signs of a struggle such as broken tree limbs or drag marks would be nearby on the ground. They also would expect to see signs of predation – feeding – on Whiteley’s body, and deep cuts from claw marks or at least the tell-tale puncture wounds of feline teeth.
They found none.
Then why were authorities so quick to pin the death on a cougar?
Christopher Whiteley’s mother thinks it might be because of who he was. The mistakes he made. The crimes he committed.
Kimberly Spruill remembers her son as a jokester, often laughing and poking fun at his family and friends.
“Me and Christopher, we were tight,” said Spruill, who lives in rural Limestone County. “He loved to make me turn red. He loved to embarrass me, because me and him, like I said, we joked a lot.”
Court records show Whiteley’s teenage years were marked by criminal behaviour and drug use. He was accused of sexual crimes against two toddlers, court records show, but he later denied the charges. Those records show he was incarcerated for those and other crimes as a minor.
He and his longtime girlfriend, Samantha Messina, who goes by the name Tylor, had a daughter in the summer of 2012, when Whiteley was 19. In November 2013, Messina delivered their second child, a boy, who tested positive for marijuana at birth, court records show.
Starting in 2013, CPS was called to their home multiple times after allegations about the couple’s drug use and abuse in the relationship. Family members told CPS in 2014 that Whiteley had beaten Messina with a pipe. They said that Whiteley might have had ties to the Aryan brotherhood or Aryan nation.
Messina and Whiteley denied the allegations.
The couple refused to seek treatment for their drug use. Their two children were removed by a court order, and Messina has terminated her parental rights.
In June 2015, Whiteley was arrested for attacking Messina with a shank fashioned from a tree trimmer. She told police about other times when he tied her up and left her without food or water. She said she’d been poked with knives and whipped with electrical cords.
Whiteley pleaded guilty to second-degree felony aggravated assault with a deadly weapon involving family violence and was sentenced to five years in prison.
Spruill said that Whiteley got clean in prison. He was released in June 2020 and told his mother he had landed a job in the oil fields of West Texas.
“He did get in some trouble. Yes, he did . but he got himself straight,” Spruill said. “That boy was happy. He was proud of himself to be making that kind of money.”
Within a few months of getting out of prison, Whiteley was back with Messina. They lived in a house on a lifestyle block about a two kilometres outside Lipan. Later, Messina told Spruill that she and Whiteley started using meth again soon after he arrived.
The News contacted Messina multiple times over several months, but she declined to answer questions about the night Whiteley disappeared.
“When he left, a whole part of me left too,” Messina texted a reporter in April. “Is anyone really OK after they lose the love of [their] life, the father of my children and my high school sweetheart”
On December 2, Spruill had trouble getting in touch with her son. She called him twice, but there was no answer, no reply. She tried calling some of his friends. She messaged Messina on Facebook, asking if her son was with her.
“Ya were nappin’,” Messina wrote.
One of the friends whom Spruill called dialled emergency services the next afternoon, saying Whiteley’s disappearance “sounded suspicious”.
Two Hood County sheriff’s deputies came to Messina’s door. She told them she had been sleeping in the previous morning and didn’t realise Whiteley had left.
The sheriff’s deputies searched the area and found his body about 500 metres southwest of the house, across the creek bed and down a rough trail through a patch of junipers.
Whiteley sometimes cut north through the creek bed to hitchhike on hotels in munising mi main road nearby, Spruill said. But his body was found south of the home.
He was lying on his left side under a twiggy tanglewood bush. He was shirtless, with scratches on his face, chest, back and arms. His jeans, bloody from the knees up, were torn.
Kathryn Gwinn, a Hood County justice of the peace, was on call. It would be her job to determine the cause and manner of death. She immediately knew that Whiteley’s unusual wound would need to be seen by a doctor, and ordered that his body be sent to Fort Worth.
Gwinn said she didn’t hear anyone mention an animal attack that night in the woods, but by the next morning the sheriff’s deputies had begun to focus on that theory.
“I could see a large gash-like area, which could be from wild animals chewing at his neck,” Hood County investigator Toby Fries wrote in an incident report. He also saw that the zip on Whiteley’s jeans had been undone, and shorts he wore underneath had been pulled out, “as if a wild animal was pulling at them or dragging him”.
Bodenchuk and Evans say this is not how mountain lions attack or kill. They sneak up from behind, make one bite on the neck and break the trachea, killing the prey. The cougar would then remove and discard the stomach and digestive tract before dragging the body to a secluded spot to feed on other vital organs. None of that appeared to have happened.
Rose and Deeds later said there had been multiple mountain lion sightings in that area near Lipan. According to Texas Parks and Wildlife, that’s not the case. Citizen-reported sightings like the ones the sheriff’s department relied on are often inaccurate, the agency said.
During the autopsy at the Tarrant County office the next day, Whiteley’s vital organs appeared normal. His trachea did not appear broken, but his larynx was removed for further testing. A toxicology report later showed he had methamphetamines, amphetamines and THC in his system when he died.
Susan Roe, the deputy medical examiner, wrote in preliminary findings that the neck wound was the cause of death and that it was “consistent with that of a large cat (mountain lion).”
After the autopsy, Rose said, Whiteley’s body was washed with a bleach solution as a Covid-19 precaution. Washing bodies with water or a soap who is the tarrant county medical examiner is common practice for forensic investigators and medical examiners. Washing them with bleach – even during the pandemic – is not, according to medical examiners The News contacted in Dallas and Collin counties.
If there had been any DNA evidence to prove anyone or any animal was near Whiteley’s body, the phone number to apply for chase slate credit card washed it away forever.
That afternoon, after Hood County investigators had decided that a killer mountain lion was on the loose, Rose realised they’d need help to trap the animal.
So nearly 24 hours after Whiteley’s body was found, Rose called the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department.
The next morning, two state biologists, a game warden, Bodenchuk and George Zamarron, Hood County’s lead investigator on the case, carefully inspected the area where Whiteley was found, taking photographs, video and notes.
The News tried to interview Zamarron about the case, but Rose said Hood County policy prevents him from commenting publicly. Documents The News obtained and others who were at the scene that morning described how the team looked for evidence of an animal attack.
They followed the creek bed south from the main road, towards the home where Whiteley had been staying. The light sand and few pools of water showed plenty of animal tracks – coyotes, hogs, domestic cats and dogs. But none from cougars.
The next morning, two state biologists, a game warden, Bodenchuk and George Zamarron, Hood County’s lead investigator on the case, carefully inspected the area where Whiteley was found, taking photographs, video and notes.
That Monday, four days after Whiteley’s body was found, Bodenchuk walked to the medical examiner’s office, mountain lion skull tucked under his arm.
Once inside he showed the small, yet powerful, jaws that clamp down on the neck of its prey. The area of Whiteley’s neck that was torn open would not have fit in a cougar’s mouth, he said.
Besides, he said, what about claw marks? Whiteley was covered in superficial scratches, but not the deep lacerations a cougar would leave.
The group agreed that Bodenchuk and Evans couldn’t claim to be experts in human pathology but that the tear in Whiteley’s neck probably was not from a mountain lion.
In a kind of compromise, they posited that a domestic dog might be to blame.
Evans still felt uncomfortable. As part of his job to confirm cougar attacks on livestock or other animals, he has to know what dog bites look like to rule them out. Whiteley’s wounds looked unlike any dog bite he’d seen.
He sat down at his computer.
“I find myself unable to shake the possibility that this was a homicide,” Evans wrote in the journal. “Perhaps it was even done intentionally to try to look like a bite wound.”
Partly out of frustration, partly to get his own emotions and blunt recollections out while they were fresh, he reconsidered all he’d seen:
“The evidence appears very shaky … I left the meeting questioning whether the people running the meeting were more concerned with finding out the true cause of death, or whether their reputation would be damaged if they retracted their original statement.”
In January, Hood County sent Whiteley’s boots, pants and fingernail clippings to a US Department of Agriculture wildlife research lab at Bodenchuk’s suggestion.
The researchers found mould growing in the pocket, a sign that the evidence had begun to deteriorate. If the jeans had been frozen, a research scientist wrote to Zamarron in Who is the tarrant county medical examiner County, any traces of saliva could have been preserved.
“We cannot make a conclusion about wildlife species involvement in the case,” a federal researcher wrote.
On January 25, Gwinn, the justice of the peace, certified Whiteley’s death certificate. “Accident,” it reads, “attacked by an animal of some sort.”
The biologists who worked on the case still maintain there is no evidence of an attack from any wildlife species. Forensic pathologists who know what dog bites look like rule that theory out, too. The sheriff’s deputies in Hood County and Tarrant County medical examiners say a human couldn’t have killed Whiteley, either.
The case has stuck with some of the wildlife officials who were asked for their advice but say they were ignored when Hood County officials pressed on with their mountain lion theory. Some say it has kept them up at night.
“Everybody wants to play CSI,” Bodenchuk said. “I wonder what we might have done differently. … I think the fact that it’s an unknown animal still leaves some questions, you know. Was it a domestic dog? Was it a feral dog? Was best savings rates paying monthly interest something else? Why would it be out there?
“There’s still a lot of questions that I can’t … I can’t reconcile.”
Spruill said she still has trouble sorting through what the different experts have said about her son’s death.
“You know, that’s what hurts because we really don’t know the damn truth,” she said. “It’s horrible. Whatever happened is horrible. It’s a nightmare. I can’t heal. Nobody will tell me the truth.”
It’s a horrific and tragic thought, made all the more frightening knowing that whatever did tear Whiteley’s neck open is likely still out there.
Somewhere, a killer could be on the loose.
As COVID-19 Cases Climb, Tarrant County Medical Examiner Brings In Refrigerated Trucks To Store Bodies
As COVID-19 who is the tarrant county medical examiner continue to rise, Tarrant County officials are preparing to house additional bodies as the medical examiner's office nears capacity.
"Some of the funeral homes, their coolers are also near reaching capacity," said Tarrant County Judge Glen Whitley.
Whitley said the two large refrigerated trucks parked outside the medical examiner's office will be ready for use as soon as tomorrow. He said county leaders have known for months they may eventually need overflow units, and the two trucks can hold about 100 bodies combined.
Beyond COVID-19 deaths, Whitley said staffing shortages and a rise in homicides have contributed to the influx of bodies being housed at the medical examiner's office. He said the pandemic has also complicated the grieving process for many families.
"Some of the funeral homes, the quickness of dealing with the services has slowed down," Whitley said. "Travel arrangements are a little bit more difficult."
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Tarrant County Medical Examiner & Coroner
Popularity:#2 of 3 Coroners who is the tarrant county medical examiner Medical Examiners in Fort Worth#2 of 3 Coroners & Medical Examiners in Tarrant County#4 of 24 Coroners & Medical Examiners in Texas#11 in Coroners & Medical Examiners
Tarrant County Medical Examiner & Coroner Contact Information
Address, Phone Number, Fax Number, and Hours for Tarrant County Medical Examiner & Coroner, a Coroner & Medical Examiner, at Feliks Gwozdz Place, Fort Worth TX.
- Tarrant County Medical Examiner & Coroner
- 200 Feliks Gwozdz Place
Fort Worth, Texas, 76104
- Monday-Friday: 8:00AM-4:30PM; Saturday-Sunday: CLOSED
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About the Tarrant County Medical Examiner & Coroner
The Tarrant County Medical Examiner & Coroner, located in Fort Worth, TX, keeps death records for individuals who passed away in Fort Worth. The Coroner and Medical Examiner determines a deceased person's time and cause of death, often in the case of sudden or unexpected deaths. The office identifies bodies, notifies the next of kin, and returns personal belongings to the family. They also work with Tarrant County police and sheriff's offices to investigate suspicious or violent deaths. The Tarrant County Medical Examiner & Coroner creates death records that can be used in criminal investigations, to resolve insurance claims, or to monitor Fort Worth public health.Interested Parties may contact Coroners & Medical Examiners for questions about:
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Coroners & Medical Examiners near Fort Worth
Fort Worth, TX – A Tarrant County medical examiner has been suspended after an audit found he had made 59 mistakes during the autopsies of 40 murder victims over a 10-month period in 2019 and 2020.
Tarrant County Deputy Medical Examiner Dr. Marc Krouse, who has testified in some of the county’s highest-profile homicide cases, joined the county dovenmuehle mortgage bill payment office in 1981, KXAS reported.
The Fort Worth Star-Telegram reported the Krouse conducted the autopsies in six of the 40 case that were reviewed in the audit.
The audit of Krouse’s cases began after the body of 19-year-old Alfredo Olivares had to be exhumed because Krouse missed a second bullet during an autopsy.
Longtime Tarrant County Medical Examiner Dr. Nizam Peerwani said that Krouse was suspended from doing autopsies in homicide cases in November of 2020 after he mistook a bullet wound for a surgical incision, KXAS reported.
The audit conducted by Peerwani determined that Krouse made nine mistakes on Olivares’ autopsy, including reporting he had been shot once when he had sustained two bullet wounds.
However, the audit found that the second gunshot wound was noted in hospital and ambulance records that Krouse hadn’t bothered to read, KXAS reported.
Krause also failed to recognize and note other injuries to Olivares’ body in his autopsy report, according to the audit.
Peerwani’s audit also criticized Krouse’s investigation into the February 2020 death of 57-year-old Jose Moreno, a paraplegic with a bullet permanently lodged in his spine from a 1989 workplace shooting, KXAS reported.
Krouse’s autopsy determined Moreno died of complications from paraplegia due to the gunshot wound; however, the deputy medical examiner didn’t do an autopsy or recover the bullet.
He labeled Moreno’s death a homicide, KXAS reported.
The audit found Krouse should have, but failed to, investigate whether a drug overdose or heart condition had caused the man’s death, making the homicide classification inappropriate.
Prosecutors said the Dallas County District Attorney John Creuzot will be conducting an independent and full-scale review of all of the cases Krause was responsible for, according to KXAS.
Tarrant County prosecutors recused themselves from the investigation.
The audit report confirmed all but one of Krause’s cause of death and manner of death determinations in the cases that Peerwani reviewed, KXAS reported.
But the report found Krouse repeatedly failed to request or review hospital records and ambulance reports
The audit also found that in a limited number of cases, the deputy medical examiner failed to confirm a victim’s identity using their fingerprint or other scientific means and failed to collect blood and other issues describing injuries, according to KXAS.
Peerwani described Krouse’s errors as “egregious” in two of the 40 cases.
The Tarrant County District Attorney’s Office sent a letter to attorneys representing defendants whose cases were affected after the review of Krouse’s autopsies found descriptive errors and omissions in 27 cases, the Fort Worth Star-Telegram reported.
“In most cases, these did not necessarily impact the assignment of cause or the manner of death, the reports left questions unanswered and demonstrated lack of due diligence,” the letter read.
A review of Peerwani’s audit of Krouse’s work showed that the audit itself was flawed, KXAS reported.
The audit had errors in names, ages, case numbers, and locations.
One of the autopsies was dated four days before the 15-year-old boy’s death was reported, according to KXAS.
Peerwani said he would correct the mistakes in the audit, which he called mostly typographical errors.
“I will look at it and change it,” he told KXAS. “It’s not a big deal.”
Krouse was placed on administrative leave on March 25.
The Tarrant County District Attorney’s Office said the disgraced pathologist planned to leave his job on April 24, KXAS reported.
Tarrant County Medical Examiner’s Office
For an organization where science and justice are vital components, quality and accuracy cannot be forgotten.
Dr. Susan Howe, Crime Laboratory Manager at the Tarrant County Medical Examiner’s Office in Fort Worth, Texas, wears many hats and quality assurance is one of them.
In the past, Susan spent days compiling and organizing documentation. For example, when completing a management system review, she would spend a week gathering statistics and accompanying documentation and then formatting it in an appropriate way. Additionally, the purchasing process was cumbersome and required that six to eight individuals be involved. This system of bulky documentation and burdensome processes drained both time and money.
Susan and the medical examiner’s who is the tarrant county medical examiner needed a solution to better manage their documentation to improve their day-to-day operations and sustain their accreditation. Qualtrax relieved the burden of maintaining hard copies of documentation, retrieving this paperwork and reporting on it to the necessary individuals.
“Qualtrax has simplified many things in our organization, but what it has done most for us is provide ready access to information,” Howe said.
Now Susan’s weeklong process of completing her management system review takes only four hours using Qualtrax, freeing her time to focus on quality.
There was some initial resistance when moving to an electronic system, however, concerns quickly dissipated after using Qualtrax.
“Now our employees actually want things to be in Qualtrax,” Howe explained. “They become a little nervous even, if things are not in Qualtrax.”
Employees go to Howe to automate processes for them, “Can’t you just make us a workflow,” they who is the tarrant county medical examiner has become part of the culture at the Tarrant County Medical Examiner’s Office. Analysts are comfortable with the software and rely on it to complete their work. Many of their processes are automated through workflows which move electronically through individuals.
“The process[es] move from person to person and even between departments in our organization very readily so there’s a huge time savings there,” Howe said.
This is the move significant savings for Susan – time. Much of the documentation that Susan managed had to be kept as a hard copy, then retrieved and reported on. Now that information if available with “the click of a mouse.”
According to Howe, Qualtrax maintains itself so there isn’t a “scramble” to prepare for an audit.
Tarrant County Medical Examiner’s Office recently decided to move to the Qualtrax Cloud. The move was initiated to provide access of the system to their assessors, which couldn’t be done without the cloud.
“We worked hard to build a system that we’re very proud of…and we wanted to show off that system,” Howe said.
Dr. Susan Howe and the Tarrant County Medical Examiner’s Office is an ideal who is the tarrant county medical examiner of how technology can improve accuracy, efficiency and the lives on those working to maintain quality.
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Deputy medical examiner tries to get license renewed
Marc Krouse's license expired July 1 after he neglected to pay the fee and to show that he had completed mandatory continuing medical training, said Jill Wiggins, spokeswoman for the Texas State Board of Medical Examiners.
Krouse paid the $334 annual registration fee plus $100 in late fines Monday afternoon at the board's office in Austin, so his license could be reinstated as early as Tuesday, Wiggins said.
Tarrant County Medical Examiner Nizam Peerwani suspended Krouse on Friday after the Fort Worth Star-Telegram informed him of the license lapse.
Peerwani said Krouse told him late Friday that his failure to keep his license valid was an "oversight" and that he had fulfilled all continuing-education requirements. Peerwani said he was "mystified" about the lapse and said Krouse did superb work.
Krouse, a 22-year medical examiner for the county, could not be reached for comment Monday. It's unclear when he became aware that his license had lapsed.
Krouse missed a May 30 deadline to reregister for his state license, and the license became delinquent after a 30-day grace period, Wiggins said. Performing autopsies without a license is illegal, she said.
Records obtained by the Star-Telegram show that Krouse performed dozens of autopsies after his license expired, including five of the 14 homicides that Fort Worth police have investigated since July.
Prosecutors and law enforcement officers said they were uncertain how pending cases might be affected.
"We've never had this happen before … and we're going to have to see what the consequences are," said Mike Parrish, chief of the felony division for the Tarrant County District Attorney's Office.
Cynthia Orr, president of the Texas Criminal Defense Lawyers Association, said a lapsed medical license could make a doctor's testimony "highly suspect" in a trial. A doctor's failure to meet continuing-education requirements could also be grounds for dismissing a criminal case, said Orr, a San Antonio defense attorney.