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Friday, January 29, 2010

Family of Tasered man to seek private autopsy

Posted Jan 29, 2010 @ 02:50 PM
Last update Jan 29, 2010 @ 07:29 PM

Family members of a man who died after being shot with a Taser stun gun say they will be seeking their own autopsy.

Richard Burns, the brother of Patrick Burns, made the statement Friday after the family learned that an initial autopsy, conducted at the request of the coroner’s office, determined that the cause of death was inconclusive, pending toxicology and additional studies.

“Our family is having an independent autopsy done as well,” Richard Burns said. “It doesn’t surprise me that that was the conclusion today.”

Patrick Burns, 50, was detained by Sangamon County deputies a week ago today, after they were called to the scene of a residential break-in. When they arrived at the 1400 block of North Wesley Street in Grandview, they found Patrick Burns in the yard, dressed only in a shirt and underwear. He had sustained cuts from allegedly breaking into a house.

Deputies later learned that Burns lived nearby and reportedly had been involved in a domestic dispute.

After he allegedly refused deputies commands and resisted, deputies shot Patrick Burns with a Taser stun gun multiple times.

He was taken to Memorial Medical Center, where his condition deteriorated. Burns died at 5 p.m. Thursday.

The sheriff’s office called in Illinois State Police to review how the situation was handled.

Sheriff Neil Williamson has said he stands behind the deputies and use of the Taser stun gun.

Sangamon County Coroner Susan Boone said in a news release Friday the cause of Burns’ death “is inconclusive pending toxicology and additional studies.”

Boone said the “additional studies” could include things such as tissue exams and checks of blood sugar.

Richard Burns said he requested that Boone use a board-certified forensic pathologist to conduct the autopsy, but the request was denied.

Boone said the pathologist she uses is board certified in pathology, but doesn’t have to be certified in forensics. The pathologist, she said, has done more than 2,500 forensic autopsies.

Richard Burns said the autopsy requested by the family would be conducted by two certified forensic pathologists.

An obituary for Patrick Burns stated that he is survived by two daughters and numerous other family members.

Burns was an internal auditor for the Illinois Department of Central Management Services and formerly worked for the Illinois Department of Transportation.

John Reynolds can be reached at 788-1524.

Autopsy results

Patrick Burns autopsy results: “Inconclusive pending toxicology and additional studies.”

Source – News release Friday by Sangamon County Coroner Susan Boone

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