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District Attorney Wants Ector County Medical Examiner’s Office Gone

The Ector County Medical Examiner’s Office is being called in to question after woman is indicted on child endangerment charges
The Ector County Grand Jury is asking the county commissioners’ court to take immediate action against the county’s medical examiner’s office.

The request comes after the Medical Examiner’s Office did not perform an autopsy on Talisha Redic’s baby, who was born prematurely and tested positive for cocaine. The baby was transported to the hospital after birth but died after 25 days of hospital care.
An autopsy was not preformed.

“We find that an autopsy should have been performed, and it was reckless of the Medical Examiner’s Office Investigators to not seek an autopsy,” the Grand Jury said in a statement.

But the Medical Examiner’s Office said they did not act recklessly.

“This autopsy was not conducted because this is what we consider an attended death,” said Dr. Anne Acreman, Chief Medical Examiner.

Attended death means the baby was seen by a doctor, documented and treated in the hospital.

“It was not an unexpected death and the attending physician, the neonatologist that was in charge of the baby's care was willing to sign off the death certificate,” Acreman said.

According to court documents, Odessa Police, requested that an autopsy be performed. But the autopsy was never performed.

“This tragedy and the reckless decision not to seek an autopsy has brought to light further problems with this agency,” said District Attorney, Bobby Bland, who brought the case to the Grand Jury.

The Medical Examiner’s office said the case was brought to them but police did not push for an autopsy.

“They understood completely why it wasn't ordered and didn't push for it,” Acreman said. “I've never met a police that was shy about pushing something they thought was important.”

The district attorney says he cannot pursue a possible life in prison sentence because the doctor signed the baby’s death as a natural cause and no autopsy was performed.

“The Ector County Medical Examiner's Office investigators lack credibility, they lack competence and they lack accountability,” he said.

Redic was indicted February 10, facing seven counts of child endangerment after her seven children all tested positive for cocaine.

But Bland says she could only face up to two years in jail.

Now, he wants the Ector County Medical Examiner’s Office gone.

“It contributes nothing to justice I see no need for it and I think it's time for them to disband it,” Bland said.

Ector County Judge Susan M. Redford said that after reading the Grand Jury’s statement, the county will take action.

“I was surprised at the action that was taken but I do believe we have to take it very seriously,” Redford said.

A special meeting to discuss this is expected early next week.

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