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Hearing set on evidence concerns


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A Tuesday hearing will determine whether all evidence and information has been shared between pathologists who conducted an autopsy on Columbus shooting victim Cary Owsley.

The hearing, requested by an attorney representing Owsley’s sister, Cheryl Jackson, will be at 3:30 p.m. Tuesday in Bartholomew Circuit Court.

Jackson’s attorney made the emergency motion seeking the hearing May 15.

A pathologist hired by Jackson, Dr. Werner Spitz, and a court-appointed pathologist, Dr. Scott Wagner, performed a March 23 autopsy on Owsley’s remains.

Owsley’s April 7, 2013, death was ruled a suicide by Bartholomew County Coroner Larry Fisher after an investigation by the Bartholomew County Sheriff’s Department.

Jackson maintains her brother never would have killed himself. She contends the coroner’s office and investigators bungled the death scene investigation by losing or mishandling much of the evidence.

In the civil lawsuit filed last year, Jackson objected that sheriff’s deputy E. DeWayne Janes, the ex-husband of Cary Owsley’s widow, Lisa, was allowed to walk through the scene of the death investigation, help place the body on a gurney and handle the weapon suspected to have been used in the shooting death.

Three deputies, including Janes, were disciplined as a result of the investigation.

The lawsuit states the Owsley family wants to learn from medical experts whether evidence would reveal that Owsley was a victim of foul play and not a suicide.

In a May 16 telephone interview, Jackson said she believes someone has edited investigative files on her brother’s death before they were sent to the court, so that neither Spitz or Wagner have all pertinent information in the case.

A certified letter indicates Spitz’s administrative assistant at Wayne State University in St. Clair Shores, Michigan, received all information provided to Wagner on April 14, according to court records.

When ordering the hearing, Judge Stephen Heimann requested that Jackson’s attorneys provide an itemized list of the investigative reports and microscopic slides Spitz has received, as well as those slides Spitz believes he has not received, according to the May 20 order.

That information must be submitted to the court at least four-and-a-half hours prior to the Tuesday hearing, court records state.

Court officials had announced they expected to receive the Owsley autopsy findings the week of May 12 and would release the findings to the public.

However, as of Wednesday afternoon, the court has not received autopsy reports from either pathologist, and there has been no update on when they might be submitted, court officials said.

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