Thursday, July 19, 2007

Breaking: Cuyahoga County Prosecutor Rules Vinson Death a Suicide.

Just in from the Akron Beacon Journal:

    Cuyahoga County Prosecutor Bill Mason has ruled in an independent review that 19-year-old Demetrus Vinson took his own life on March 17 after he was shot by an Akron police officer, confirming the Akron police account of events
If you will recall, the case became controversial when the police released a statement saying that they killed Vinson, then had to retract it when the Medical Examiner ruled that the shots they fired were non-fatal and that Vinson shot himself.

AkronNewsNow has the report posted. BTW, as of this writing (1 p.m.), the ABJ does not. In this electronic world, the print organs have to learn to move a little faster. Or they can keep losing their best talent to radio.***

Anyway, I've skimmed the report. Certainly it won't resolve anything in the eyes of the people howling cover-up. The conclusions are based on forensic evidence, much of which was in the M.E.'s report, and Chance Baker's statement the morning of the shooting, which Vinson apologists have a dozen excuses for.

The report does detail a number of additional forensic tests the Cuy. Co. investigators ordered and a number of additional witnesses they tried to talk to, which may explain some of the delay in releasing the report. Also, they discuss the DNA from an unknown person on Vinson's .45. This, presumably, is why they wanted a sample from Chance Baker, the kid in the car with Vinson.

We are still waiting for the separate report from the Summit County Prosecutor's Office. Eric Mansfield has been blogging what he has been hearing from unnamed sources as we've been waiting for the report. You can read his Vinson-related posts here. His posts have hinted darkly about allegations of missing medical information and the possibility that different investigators will reach different conclusions. We'll probably have to wait for tonight to see if he still thinks that.

Meanwhile, Chance Baker's attorney Eddie Sipplen says he still doesn't accept the report's conclusions. The ABJ story doesn't indicate whether he has actually read the report. And Vinson family's attorney Orlando Williams is conducting his own investigation which begins in earnest now as the investigators at Cuyahoga County wouldn't let him access evidence while they were still investigating.

***UPDATE. As of 1:30 the ABJ has the report posted. You can access it through a link embedded on the headlines page, but there is no link on the page on which the story appears. I don't know when ABJ posted the report because I didn't notice the headline on the homepage until now.