Asthma may be the killer
By NALINEE SEELAL Saturday, January 5 2013
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Lance Corporal Curtis Marshall...
A NEW twist has emerged in the death of soldier Curtis Marshall. Two autopsies had initially shown that the Lance Corporal had been murdered via strangulation but yesterday, University of the West Indies Professor of Pathology Dr Hubert Daisley told Marshall’s family that the true cause of Marshall’s death may be asthma.
Daisley’s revelation, delivered outside the Forensic Science Centre in St James, came after he examined the brain and other organs of the soldier, left Marshall’s family stunned and have since indicated they will consult with an attorney to look after their interests.
Lance Corporal Marshall collapsed at Defence Force Headquarters last week Saturday night while on guard duty near a gun container.
Dr Daisley also advised relatives that they could go ahead and bury the soldier and promised to have his report completed by next Wednesday. Forensic Pathologist Dr Eastlyn Mc Donald- Burris carried out the first autopsy and found that strangulation was the cause of death.
On New Year’s day Dr Daisley carried out a second autopsy and told relatives and the Defence Force that foul play was the cause of the soldier’s death. He even claimed that the soldier appeared to have been beaten on the head and lower neck with a blunt instrument.
At nine o’clock yesterday morning, both Dr Mc Donald-Burris and Prof Daisley carried out tests on the brain of Marshall and it was during that examination that Daisley reportedly claimed that his finding on New Year’s Day, may have been wrong.
Due to his findings relatives asked the Defence Force and the police to facilitate the examination of the brain of the soldier to ascertain if he was in fact beaten on the head apart from being strangled.
This resulted in both pathologists examining Marshall’s brain yesterday which led to Daisley making his latest revelation of asthma as possibly the cause of death. Yesterday, Daisley’s disclosure left Marshall’s brother Dennis at a loss for words.
“I am in shock all over again. If it were up to me I would do a third autopsy but army officials have said that whatever the doctors’ findings, they would accept. However I am ready for action. If the latest report of asthma is accurate then I am ready to sue the Defence Force and the doctor because my brother died on the job and they know how he died,” Marshall said.
Also present yesterday at the Forensic Science Centre was Marshall’s widow Ashlyn but when approached by Newsday for a comment, she declined, after a soldier spoke to her saying that any official statement on the investigations would have to come from the Defence Force.
Minutes later, Ashlyn left with two officers in an Army vehicle and was taken to Defence Force Headquarters. Newsday Understands that Ashlyn was allowed to see the exact spot at Defence Force Headquarters where her husband’s body was found. She was allowed to take possession of her husband’s vehicle and other documents. She was not allowed to view video footage which showed the last moments of her husband’s life.
Her mother Angela John said that when Ashlyn returned to her Bushe Street, Petit Bourg home yesterday took her (Ashlyn) daughter Curtlyn, five, into a room where they both started to dance to a song which Marshall liked.
“Something just does not add up. We were told after two autopsies that Curtis was murdered and now we are being told that asthma may have caused his death. Something is definitely wrong here,” John said.
Police sources told Newsday they may have to re-interview some soldiers who were on duty on the night Marshall died. Attempts by Newsday to reach Major Al Alexander - Civil Military Officer of the Defence Force - yesterday proved futile. Newsday understands that Chief of Defence Staff Brigadier Kenrick Maharaj has visited the wife and relatives of the dead soldier.