Relatives of the late Steve Paul are demanding the release of a medical report regarding the cause of Paul’s death, and which police claimed, was conducted on the body by Dr. Blojay of the SD Cooper Hospital on November 8.
Steve Paul died when suspect Solomon Badio, on November 8, 2018, struck him several times in the chest with his fist while in Steve’s office on Camp Johnson Road, following which police’s initial report charged Badio with “negligent homicide.”
The police charge sheet, dated November 15, 2018, and which is in the possession of the Daily Observer, said they obtained medical certificates, dated November 8, 2018, of the cause of death from the SD Cooper Hospital. The certificates, according to police, was under the signature of Dr. Blojay with Medical Board #765, indicating that the victim died as a result of cardiac respiratory (heart) arrest and that there was no other significant condition contributing to Paul’s death.
The report noted, “Having carefully listened to witnesses’ testimonies, defendant’s statement, and a background check conducted with the medical record, this investigation hereby recommended court proceedings into this matter on the charge of negligent homicide.”
But a family member who spoke on condition of anonymity, said they want the police to release the medical and coroner reports immediately to them.
Coroners are independent judicial officers who investigate deaths reported to them, medical experts told the Daily Observer.
“They will make whatever inquiries are necessary to find out the cause of death; this includes ordering a post-mortem examination, obtaining witnesses’ statements and medical records, or holding an inquest,” the expert noted.
According to the expert, a coroner first gathers information to investigate whether a death was due to natural causes and if a doctor can certify the medical cause of death.
Against that, the coroner will ask the police to gather information about the death.
“This will usually include speaking to the family of the deceased; anyone who was caring for the deceased as well as anyone who was there when the death happened.”
If a coroner is satisfied that Steve died of natural causes, and no further investigation is necessary, then the coroner will accept the medical cause of death that a doctor gave, and issued a coroner’s notification to allow the death to be registered, the medical practitioner explained.
If a doctor cannot certify the medical cause of death of the late Steve, then a coroner will investigate the cause of death and may order a post-mortem examination, according to the expert.
The family’s source said they demand a “full, independent and transparent investigation.”
“We need to see evidence, because my brother was murdered, and police should not have charged Badio with negligent homicide, but murder,” said a family source.
The source claimed that Badio killed Steve “without any cause or provocation.”
But the police report provides an entirely different account.
Besides, witnesses’ statements also contradicted accounts of the police’s investigative report.
The police’s accounts claimed that late Paul was the first to strike suspect Badio.
“Paul took his key holder from his pocket with a penknife on it and struck suspect Badio on his neck with the said object which caused abrasion,” the police investigative report said.
But one of the witnesses, Jida Sayee, made a statement to police confirming how Badio started the fight. She said: “While Uncle Steve was trying to protect himself from Badio’s advancing attacks, his nail scratched Badio, but when Badio noticed the mark, he got so annoyed that he tried to attack Uncle Steve again. Even other people tried stopping him, but he did not listen to the extent that he slapped a lady [unnamed].”
Another witness, Ruth Freeman, said on November 8, 2018, she saw “Badio run to Paul and, in a few minutes, hit him in the chest, while his [Paul’s] wife was trying to stop Badio; he turned around and slapped her too.” She also confirmed that it was Badio who started fighting Steve shortly after he entered Steve’s office, to the amazement of onlookers.
Meanwhile, Steve Paul’s corpse has been lying in storage at the Samuel Stryker funeral parlor since his death about a year ago, without the family having access, on orders that the police were conducting their investigation.