SHREVEPORT, La. (KTAL/KMSS) – An outside expert in forensic pathology hired by the state to conduct an independent review in the trial of four Shreveport police officers charged in the in-custody death of Tommie McGlothen, Jr. says his death was a homicide, in contrast with the Caddo coroner’s determination that McGlothen’s manner of death was natural.
McGlothen died in the backseat of a Shreveport police vehicle following a struggle with officers Treona McCarter, Brian Ross, D’Marea Johnson, and James LeClare. The four are charged with malfeasance in office and negligent homicide related to McGlothen’s death.
Over two and a half hours of testimony Dr. Allecia Wilson stated that while she agrees with Thoma on the cause of death, which medical examiners determined to be excited delirium, she concluded the manner of death to be homicide, not natural.
Manner of death is a categorization based on medical definitions. The five categories are natural, accident, suicide, homicide, and undetermined.
Wilson believes that the struggle with the officers and restraint that followed “took this individual on a pathway to death through excited delirium.”
She said it was a homicide because the circumstances in which he died involved the actions of the officers, both in the physical struggle to subdue him and in restraining him, which are risk factors for death in cases of excited delirium.
When asked by defense attorneys whether she believes the coroner and the pathologist who conducted the autopsy are wrong, Wilson said, “We disagree.”
Defense attorneys pounced on what they believed were inconsistencies in Dr. Wilson’s testimony and questioned the reliability of her assessment compared to that of the Caddo coroner and the forensic pathologist who conducted the autopsy.
They also tried to get Wilson to say that McGlothen was already combative and aggressive and in a state of excited delirium before officers arrived on the scene of his third and final encounter with police that day, but she consistently stated that it was the struggle with the officers that sent him into the throes of excited delirium and on a pathway to death.
The testimony comes on the third day of the trial. It follows testimony earlier in the morning from firefighters who were called to the scene.
Defense attorneys hammered on the point that the firefighters, who are also trained as EMTs, were disciplined by the fire department for failing to properly assess McGlothen and provide medical care. The firefighters say they were never asked to assess McGlothen and never saw any indication he was having a medical emergency.