Wukie, Beisser got it wrong

Second pathologist agrees with Wecht: Jacob Limberios was homicide victim
Jessica Cuffman
Aug 6, 2013

State and county officials have stuck with the original ruling — accidental suicide — but now a second pathologist who reviewed autopsy information says they are wrong.  

The determination: It was a homicide.       

“It is my professional opinion, within a reasonable degree of medical certainty, that the manner of death in this case should be homicide,” Kevin Whaley wrote in a letter to Limberios family attorney Dan McGookey last week.

Whaley, an assistant medical examiner for the state of Virginia, said Jacob likely did not shoot himself on March 2, 2012, inside a York Township home. 

He suffered a single fatal gunshot wound to the head. Early on, his family began questioning Sandusky County officials’ determination that it was an “accidental suicide.”

The family eventually hired forensic pathologist Dr. Cyril Wecht, who performed on autopsy on Jacob’s body and determined it was not suicide, but homicide.    

Whaley reached out to the Justice for Jake group weeks ago, when a national news agency contacted him about the case. He offered to review Wecht’s autopsy report, as well as the autopsy report prepared by Lucas County deputy coroner Cynthia Beisser. 

Beisser also performed an autopsy on Jacob’s body, as part of the county’s eventual investigation into the case.  

Wecht and Beisser disagree on two central points: the bullet’s direction of travel through Jacob’s skull, and whether the death was suicide or homicide. 

Witnesses at the home the night of the shooting told investigators Jacob shot himself. 

Wecht, however, said Jacob could not have shot himself, as there was no evidence of stippling, or gunpowder burns, found around the entrance wound on his head.  

Beisser said she also didn’t find gun powder residue, but she concluded her findings were “not inconsistent” with Sandusky County coroner John Wukie’s original ruling, that Limberios accidentally committed suicide.

Whaley agreed with Beisser’s conclusion that the bullet traveled right to left through Jacob’s skull, not left to right, as Wecht concluded.

Whaley’s two-page report, McGookey said, provides clarity to lingering questions.

“It’s a very commonsense finding,” McGookey said. “The value in the report is that it wipes whatever doubt there may have been about any gunpowder residue being washed or wiped away through the embalming process or other autopsies.

Stated Whaley in his letter: “A muzzle imprint and deposition of gunpowder particles as a consequence of contact and intermediate range, respectively, would be observable despite funeral preparation and postmortem changes.”

“Without gunpowder residue, especially with a .357 Magnum — a very powerful handgun — it’s impossible that Jake could have shot himself,” McGookey said. “It’s just that simple.”

The probe into Jacob’s death has since been turned over to Ohio Attorney General Mike DeWine’s office.

Comments

Lil DAB

State and county officials that have "stuck" with the original ruling, just need to 'let go' of the botched investigation and do the RIGHT THING and acknowledge they have errored. They would certainly expect nothing less than the truth if it was regarding someone "near and dear" to them AND it is THEIR responsibility to get the truth out; NOT cover it up!

JohnDorian12

Agreed...and "accidental suicide"???? Uhm....huh???? Do they really expect the public to buy that???? The two words don't fit together....EVER!! I 100% agree that the county needs to admit error, and let this family move on...instead of continuing trying to force feed us, the public, this BS...

Foz426

AMEN! Well said Lil DAB

Kelly

It doesn't matter what this guy has to say. It's up to the Attorney General's office to make the ruling. When it's official, then it can be taken from there.

registerer

"Whaley agreed with Beisser’s conclusion that the bullet traveled right to left through Jacob’s skull, not left to right, as Wecht concluded."

So there is now "reasonable doubt" in my mind to the competence of Wecht! When independant examiners can't agree then "if the glove doesn't fit you must aquit!"

brassman

Sounds like another hack who wanted his name in the paper

sandtown born a...

Somebody should be contacting a good defense attorney quickly, sounds like the coverup has been uncovered. Sounds like Sandusky County will have to start back up the damage control train.

Random Thoughts

"Whaley agreed with Beisser’s conclusion that the bullet traveled right to left through Jacob’s skull, not left to right, as Wecht concluded"

So shouldn't the headline read: "Wukie, Beisser, and Wecht Got It Wrong"?

registerer

Oh no the SR would not ever speak evil of one of their own heros.

Carlos Danger

registerer - how have you lasted so long without being banned from posting by the SR? I got banned for merely suggesting the SR "rehashed" one of its stories the other day, and had to call MW to be allowed to post again. So be careful not to offend or be too critical of the SR or its staff, as it may result in you disappearing from this site. Remember, it's their website, and they can censor, I mean edit, as they please.

Commenter

If you don't agree with their point of view on their stories, I've seen the reporter/editor get pretty defensive and never admits they may be just a tad biased.

Commenter

If Sandusky County would just admit their mistake and rule it either accidental or a homicide, then the story could end....however they wont back down either. I give props to the Register for keeping the story alive, I give no props for not following up on all things involved. (like the phone hacking incident)

Commenter

If I get in a car accident and I get killed is that accidentally committing suicide? I just don't get how suicide can be an accident. Suicide is intentional.

Jakes Dad

Dr. Cyril Wecht and Dr. Kevin Whaley say that my son's death should be a homicide and Cynthia Beiser stated her findings were "not inconsistent" with Dr. Wukie's accidental suicide ruling. My at question to her would be "are your findings "not inconsistent" with homicide? Something I bet she wishes she would have said. I am told that the definition of
homicide is "the death of one caused by the actions or inactions of another." The horror of the last 521 days has been nothing but the actions or inactions of all involved. Now that we at least know this is a homicide (using Brady's words), we will not stop pushing for Justice for Jake until all who were involved in the complex and overt cover-up of that fact are criminally prosecuted. And now that this is a homicide, I can't help but remember the words of one of the witnesses, "the night of the murder." So using Sean O'Connell's words "there's one more thing that needs to be done." I need to make sure that this was an accident, keeping in mind that you accidentally shot someone in the arm, leg, stomach, etc. Jacob was shot in the head and that makes me wonder. I hope the attorney generals office will look into this homicide hard so I don't have to live the rest of my life wondering if it was a murder.

mhsdad

Just a thought, from what I understand the kids that were there that night have not changed their story. If that is true, does that mean they are better at fooling the police or are the police not strong enough to break a few kids stories? Just wondering.....

registerer

Or.....maybe they are telling the truth.

Kayleigh.Bowers

The kids stories have changed and are very inconsistent with whoever they are talking to at that time. As far as the kids fooling the police or the police not breaking the kids story all I can say is someone should answer that question for me and the residents of Sandusky County.

Jmschmidt812

...

BabyCakes

Goodness, just let it go! He's dead and sadly nothing can change that.

ProudMommy0903

It doesn't matter what any of us think about the family trying to find the truth. If it was your family member you would think differently than your comments. There is a grieving family that needs answers and people who know the truth and refuse to tell. I give my deepest sympathy to the Limberios family and hope the answers they deserve come through. A Parent/Child/Significant other should never be left in the dark about how their loved one passed. I can say that my family is in full support of Justice For Jake and Ella!!!