The medical examiner says the teenager was not beaten to death; rather he died of natural causes; nothing criminal, nothing abusive, and nothing other than a tragic natural death.
That's what the chief medical examiner is sticking by, saying the only trauma on the body of 14-year-old Martin Lee Anderson was a few scrapes behind the ears and lacerations on the lips, small and insignificant.
"He basically had internal problems from sickle cell that set up a cascade of events which ultimately led to his death,” explains Bay Count Chief Medical Examiner Charles Siebert.
Anderson died last month just a few hours after he was admitted to the Bay County juvenile lockup. His family claims guards beat the teen.
A videotape of the incident will be released to the public Friday.
“Clearly there’s a problem. I haven’t seen the video of the young man and my heart goes out to his family, but apparently it’s not a pretty sight,” says Panama City House speaker Rep. Allan Bense.
But the medical examiner has seen the tape. While it was disconcerting to watch, he says Anderson’s family may be surprised.
"Once they see the tape, once FDLE finishes the investigation, I think they may have a little different opinion of it,” adds Siebert.
The tape will be made public Friday morning.
Meanwhile, the U.A. Attorney's Office is entering the investigation, calling for a federal probe to determine whether boot camp guards violated Anderson’s civil rights through the use of excessive force.
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