WJHL.com - Autopsy still not back in Washington County inmate death case

Autopsy still not back in Washington County inmate death case


A Washington County, Tennessee inmate's cause and manner of death is still a mystery, more than six months later, according to the district attorney.

DA Tony Clark says he and the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation have still not received the autopsy and toxicology reports linked to the death of 22 year-old Stewart Peppers.

"Stewart Peppers, of course has been been the one that most people have been asking about and as far as Mr. Peppers and his family, I understand that they're awaiting the autopsy results as well," Clark said. "We do not have an autopsy back, results of any kind, preliminary or final."

Peppers, who was in jail on charges which included aggravated assault, died back in April.

"Until I have (the autopsy) I can't make any kind of determination as to if there was something that happened or didn't happen there at the jail to cause his death," Clark said. 

Clark says he doesn't know why the autopsy is taking so long. 

Following Peppers' death, his parents filed a lawsuit against the jail alleging six corrections officers beat Peppers while he was restrained and also used chemical spray and stun guns on him.

The sheriff's office has said it only used a reasonably necessary amount of force to restrain and control "an extremely strong and manic individual who posed a severe threat to the officers, himself, and to the security of the Washington County Detention Center."

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