September 30, 2008
By Joel Currier, ST. LOUIS POST-DISPATCH
ST. CHARLES COUNTY - Several factors caused the death of an Alton man who died in May after being shocked with a sheriff's deputy's Taser, St. Louis County Medical Examiner Dr. Mary Case said today.
James Wilson died from several factors: the use of a Taser, an enlarged heart and alcohol intoxication during moments of intense physical activity, Case told the Post-Dispatch.
"I can't specify which one," she said. "There's a natural process going on there: the enlargement of the heart. There are unnatural things going on there: the use of the Taser and the use of alcohol. So which contributed the most or to what percentage, I can't be precise. But all of these things are felt to have some role in why the man died."
Wilson's blood-alcohol content was 0.134, Case said. Under the law, 0.08 is considered legally intoxicated.
Wilson, 22, of the 2000 block of Henry Street died the night of May 6 after he was shocked by a deputy responding to a call about an assault in the parking lot of the Piasa Pantry gas station and convenience store in West Alton.
Wilson was punching his sister outside the store when a deputy arrived about 9:15 p.m., authorities have said. The deputy ordered him several times to lie down, and Wilson verbally threatened and lunged at the deputy, prompting him to shoot Wilson with a Taser.
Case's investigation included Wilson's autopsy, toxicology results, a microscopic examination and several police interviews with witnesses and investigators.
Case said she could not conclude whether Wilson would have survived if he hadn't been shocked by the Taser. "I cannot say that the Taser caused his death," she said. "I've put down the factors that were involved and that's the best that I could do."
WELCOME to TRUTH ... not TASERS
Tuesday, September 30, 2008
September 30, 2008