Dr. Paul McGarry is getting more attention than he probably wants right now. You remember him. He is the one Harrison County Coroner Gary Hargrove and lead investigator Thomas Pustay said examined Nikki LaDue January’s body after she was found with a gunshot wound to the head. Well, it appears the good doctor isn’t that good at all. Last year, in a story NOLA.com did on the investigation into police brutality and the death of an inmate, McGarry’s work ethic was hung out for all to see. And it’s ugly.
In his testimony, the medical examiner harshly criticized the work of the Orleans Parish coroner’s office, especially former pathologist Dr. Paul McGarry.
McGarry never examined Robair’s ruptured spleen. Nor did McGarry examine or dissect Robair from the waist down. If he had, he would have found massive hemorrhaging and bruising, consistent with baton strikes or kicks, Sperry said. Though these injuries may not be seen with the naked eye, it’s imperative that pathologists look beyond the skin for clues, especially in a death that might have stemmed from a police encounter, Sperry said.
“It should be classified a homicide,” Sperry said of Robair’s death.
Coroner Frank Minyard, relying on McGarry’s autopsy, ruled Robair’s death accidental. In announcing his ruling in August 2005, Minyard said Robair had suffered his fatal injuries before his encounter with police. Minyard also said the autopsy did not find any wounds indicative of a police beating.
As if that weren’t enough, PBS Frontline did a documentary called “Post Mortem”. The description of the program? WARNING! Don’t die in the wrong state. And who do they spend a good deal of time talking about? That’s right, Dr. Paul McGarry. It’s an interesting program. It lasts an hour but if you’ve got the time, here you go.