Autopsy: man handcuffed inside police car killed himself

I guess we were all wrong about this, peeps. A medical examiner ruled Chavis Carter, the 21-year-old man who died from a gunshot would while handcuffed in the back seat of a police car, actually did commit suicide.

Toxicology findings show Carter tested positive for methamphetamine, anti-anxiety medication and other drugs.

According to the report by Deputy Chief Medical Examiner Stephen A. Erickson of the Arkansas State Crime Lab, the bullet that killed Carter entered his skull near his right temple, four inches from the top of his head.

“At the time of discharge, the muzzle of the gun was placed against the right temporal scalp,” wrote Erickson.

He went on to state that, “The manner of death is based on both autopsy findings and the investigative conclusions of the Jonesboro Police Department.”

The autopsy report released Monday included a drug analysis showing Carter hadn’t been drinking the night of the July 28 shooting but his urine and blood indicated methamphetamine use. The report says Carter’s blood also tested positive for at least trace amounts of the anti-anxiety medication diazepam and the painkiller oxycodone. His urine test also returned a positive result for marijuana.

You may recall I wrote about this a few weeks ago, and I was pretty much skeptical about the police department’s story. Also, in that previous post, I mentioned Carter’s mother was also skeptical about the department’s story as she noted her son was left-handed and was not depressed and/or suicidal.

And that basic fact still leaves me unsettled, to be honest. In my previous post, one of the stories I linked said the officers found him slumped forward with his head in his lap. I am not a gun nut or enthusiast, but if the examiner said the gun’s muzzle was placed near his right temporal scalp, wouldn’t the force of the gun shot force him to slump towards the left instead of slumping with his head in his lap? And, if he was left handed, how could he have pointed the gun to his right temple?

Still lots of unanswered questions. I can’t see this case going away any time soon.