- Associated Press - Tuesday, April 15, 2014

GONZALES, La. (AP) - The Ascension Parish Coroner’s Office says the autopsy of a man who drowned last week in Bayou Francois while running from police turned up no evidence that the man had been injured by officers before he went into the water.

Coroner John Fraiche said in a statement there was no indication of any injury caused by law enforcement in the death of Jerrick Lane, 25, of Gonzales.

Gonzales Police Sgt. Steven Nethken told The Advocate (https://bit.ly/1eDn16u) last week that Lane fled as officers arrived to investigate a report of a man assaulting a woman.

Nethken says officers followed Lane into the bayou, but were unable to locate him.

Gonzales Fire and Rescue personnel found Lane’s body a short distance from where he jumped.

The coroner’s preliminary finding lends credence to the police version of events, which Lane’s family had questioned.

Family members of Lane said he was a good swimmer and suggested something else contributed to his drowning, including that he was shot with a stun gun. Such weapons fire prongs that pierce the skin to deliver an electric shock and would have left marks on Lane’s body had he been hit with one.

The attorney for Lane’s family said Monday the family wants to conduct its own autopsy and believes Louisiana State Police should investigate the incident because Lane was related to Gonzales Police Chief Sherman Jackson.

Family members and John said they found a witness who saw an officer walking back from the drowning scene on April 8 with what appeared to be a fired stun gun.

Gonzales police said they checked stun guns held by officers at the scene and found none had been fired.

“The final autopsy report will not be available for several weeks,” Fraiche said in the statement.


Information from: The Advocate, https://theadvocate.com

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