Autopsy Report States Alcohol Contributed in Nunez Death - KCBD NewsChannel 11 Lubbock

5/24/06

Autopsy Report States Alcohol Contributed in Nunez Death

The Lubbock Medical Examiner released new information about death of Juan Nunez. Nunez was the 27-year-old man who died after he was tased by Lubbock police. His final autopsy report was released on Wednesday and it confirms that alcohol played a major role in his death. NewsChannel 11's Kealey McIntire has been following the story and has this report.

Until Wednesday we didn't know how much alcohol Nunez consumed that night. We learned his blood alcohol level was .22, nearly three times the legal limit. That may have contributed to the domestic dispute police responded to at this house last month.

Police reports indicate Nunez acted violently toward Officer Matt Doherty, forcing him to use his taser. Nunez was tased four times, he then fell and hit his head. Nunez's heart stopped when he hit his head and he never regained conciseness.

Doctor Sridhar Natarajan, with the Lubbock County Medical Examiner's Office, says the cause of death is acute alcohol intoxication and a blow to Nunez's head. Natarajan says a combination of that much alcohol plus the blow to the head caused Nunez to stop breathing. He says a tase alone would not have killed him.   "With the level of alcohol he had and the addition of the head injury, I think that's the main event here that took place that gave rise to his cause of death."

The report states the taser contributed to Nunez's death because without the tase Nunez wouldn't have hit his head, therefore may not have died. The report lists the death as a homicide, that's because more than one person was involved.

Nunez's family has filed a wrongful death claim against the City of Lubbock. Meanwhile, police are continuing with their own investigation into the incident.

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