Family Urges Medical Examiner to Change Death Certificate to Homicide

The State Medical Examiner's Office is taking yet another hit. A local family is now circulating a petition, asking the legislature and the Governor to step in to clean up what they say is a corrupt and substandard office.

Thursday, June 10th 2010, 6:12 pm

By: News 9


By Stan Miller, NEWS 9

OKLAHOMA CITY -- The State Medical Examiner's Office is taking yet another hit. A local family is now circulating a petition, asking the legislature and the Governor to step in to clean up what they say is a corrupt and substandard office.

Chandra Turner died 10 years ago. The Medical Examiner's office ruled it a suicide, declining to perform an autopsy. After paying for an independent autopsy, the family and others are convinced Chandra Turner was murdered.

The Turners now say they've hit a brick wall with the M.E.'s office in getting the death certificate changed to homicide so that they can get a murder investigation opened.

A bill that was supposed to take care of problems like this at the M.E.'s office is now at the center of a corruption scandal. That leaves families like the Turner's starting over in their search for justice.

"They're liars, I'll say it, they're out and out liars," Chandra Turner's father Joe Turner said.

Joe and Donna Turner want to know why the Medical Examiner's office won't help them get to the truth about their daughter's death. They say they've been stonewalled for 10 years. Their attorney says she knows why the M.E.'s office won't help ---she says they're incapable.

"If they could stop getting involved in scandal after scandal after scandal, to where somebody competent takes over there, I am fully confident that somebody competent will change this death certificate," the Turner's attorney Jaye Mendros said.

According to the Turner's and their attorney, there was always overwhelming evidence that Chandra was murdered, evidence that they say is still being ignored.

A revised copy of the death report from the M.E.'s office that got Chandra's birth date wrong, got her death date wrong, said no autopsy had been performed when in fact one was attached to it. And, under her cause of death it said a heavy truck was somehow involved.

"It frightens me," said Chandra's mother, Donna Turner. "I was shocked at first, it's frightening. I want to know because it's unsigned, who did this? This person needs to be fired, and how many other cases has this person been involved in?"

Mendros says that is why the family is starting the petition. She says if this is the work that prosecutors and defense attorneys are depending on from the Medical Examiner's office truth and justice are in trouble.

"If this is the best they can do on a case where they're being watched, what are they producing when they're not being watched?" Mendros said.

The Medical Examiner's Office says if mistakes were made in the report they will be corrected, other than that they say they can't comment because of pending litigation.

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