Finally, one for the victim of an untrained coroner and her criminal theft of body parts from deceased persons.
I wrote about a medical examiner from Oneida County Wisconsin who was caught red-handed stealing spinal bones, organs and tissue from bodies entrusted to her care in the Oneida County morgue?
Traci England, medical examiner, apparently thought she would never have to face criminal charges for her theft from deceased persons since she was a coroner – elected by the public and serving at their pleasure. Coroners and medical examiners create their own rules, operate with immunity from prosecution and can’t be removed from office or charged with crimes against dead people…so Ms. England must have thought, since few have ever been successfully prosecuted.
However, Judge Leon Stenz found her guilty of two felony charges of misdemeanor in office. In a plea deal England will only have to pay restitution of $5,100.00 to the victim families and serve one year in jail.
The reason for her theft: England was training her dog as a cadaver dog and used the bones to train it to search for bodies.
According to My Fox Wausau news, “Her attorney has said England had an “altruistic, innocent intent” in her actions”.
However, an ex-coroner from Elmore County, Alabama wasn’t so lucky. Timothy Ellison was sentenced to “four years on ethics violations, four years on theft and another year for a second theft charge”, according to Times Daily
Ellison must have done something really bad for all those years in jail. Perhaps steal a whole cadaver, the mayor’s lunch money?
No, Ellison “overcharged the county, state and several municipalities for transporting dead bodies”, according to Times Daily.
A co-conspirator, director of a local funeral parlor was similarly charged and sentenced to one year of probation.
However, the severe sentence of Ellison was suspended, and he was ordered to serve nine months in jail and two years of probation and pay $8,000.00 restitution.
There must be an independent oversight committee of the business of death. Not a politically appointed position for the crony of the governor or county commission – rather a representative board of citizens from the community with the power to subpoena records, investigate sudden, unattended death – especially under suspicious circumstances.
One state severely charges and sentenced a coroner for mishandling county, state funds and another state gives a slap on the wrist for stealing body parts.
What do you suppose would cause the most harm and grief for the family of the deceased? Overcharge for transporting the body or stealing parts of their loved ones body?