The case involving Mississippi Medical Examiner, Dr. Steven Hayne, has been ongoing for several years. It illustrates the incompetence of coroners/medical examiners who claim ‘forensic’ credentials. But, has anyone verified those credentials?
A federal judge has dismissed without prejudice a lawsuit brought against forensic pathologist Dr. Steven Hayne, the former chief medical examiner of Mississippi, by a woman who claims Dr. Hayne’s “unsupported and untrue” statements to law enforcement about his findings in an autopsy led to her wrongful prosecution for murder.
On May 1, 2002, James Neal May, the man living with Ms. Jennifer Wardle Hollis, was found dead in the home they shared of a gunshot wound to the back of the head. Local law enforcement ruled the death a suicide, and two separate grand juries failed to indict Ms. Hollis.
At some point after the grand juries’ decisions, Mr. May’s body was exhumed and autopsied by Dr. Steven Hayne, who ruled Mr. May’s death was “not suicide.” Dr. Hayne apparently reported his findings to state officials, who then indicted Ms. Hollis for murder in 2007.
Her trial began on March 15, 2010 and the jury acquitted her just three days later.
Ms. Hollis filed suit against Dr. Hayne on March 15, 2013, exactly three years to the day when her murder trial began.
While Dr. Hayne is no longer on the hook for Ms. Hollis’ case (unless she decides to re-file), he is still a controversial figure and has several unresolved issues.
In April of this year, the Mississippi Supreme Court threw out his testimony and ordered a new trial in the case of a man who was convicted of murdering his wife with a shotgun. In that case, Dr. Hayne reportedly never tested or even saw the shotgun used before the trial, or even visited the crime scene.
Read more here:
- Judge dismisses lawsuit against forensic pathologist Dr. Steven Hayne (pathologyblawg.com)
- Murder charge nanny ‘is innocent’ (independent.ie)
- Court Overturns Murder Dismissal In Fetal Deaths (charlotte.cbslocal.com)
- Death Investigation in the US – Medical Examiner or Coroner? (justiceforraymond.wordpress.com)
- Smoller Speaks Out (ourtowntustin.com)
- Grand jury will fight witness intimidation (readingeagle.com)
- Houston Criminal Lawyer for Grand Jury Defense (texascriminaltriallawyer.org)
- Grand jury appointed to hear cases against Perry, Lehmberg (kvue.com)