- The Washington Times - Friday, March 17, 2006

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (AP) — A teen who died after guards punched and kicked him at a boot camp likely was suffocated during the confrontation and brain-dead when he was brought to a hospital, a pathologist told lawmakers yesterday.

Dr. Michael Baden observed the second autopsy performed on 14-year-old Martin Lee Anderson on Monday in Tampa. He was there on behalf of the boy’s family, who disputes the original autopsy, which found the boy died of complications of sickle cell trait, a usually benign blood disorder affecting many black people.

Speaking by telephone from New York, Dr. Baden told the state House Criminal Justice Committee that the teen did not die of natural causes.

“He can’t breathe, he can’t get oxygen,” he said. “When he leaves on that stretcher, he’s already mostly brain-dead.”

But Dr. Charles Siebert, who conducted the first autopsy and witnessed the second one with Dr. Baden, said yesterday that he saw nothing there to change his mind.

He said in a phone interview with the Associated Press that he would review his findings when the results of the second autopsy are released.

Dr. Baden told the committee it may be several weeks before official results of the second autopsy are released. Tissue samples from the body are still undergoing laboratory tests.

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