AC360 Thursday 8p

There are growing questions about the Bluefin-21 search for Flight 370. What's happens when it completes its sweep? The latest tonight on AC360.
August 21st, 2009
10:00 PM ET

Pathologist's work raises questions

Tyler Edmonds at home in Columbus, M.S. with a dog he adopted from an animal shelter.
Tyler Edmonds at home in Columbus, M.S. with a dog he adopted from an animal shelter.

Joneil Adriano
AC360° Producer

When other boys were playing football, learning to drive and chasing girls, Tyler Edmonds was a child locked up with adults, serving a life sentence in a Mississippi prison for a crime he didn’t commit.

Today, Edmonds is a free man. But he still holds a lot of resentment toward the state expert who helped to convict him of murder.

“I think that he’s the dirt of the Earth, the scum of the Earth,” Edmonds, 20, told CNN. “If anybody deserves to be in jail, it’s him.”

The target of Edmond’s scorn is Dr. Steven Hayne, a Mississippi forensic pathologist who testified at Edmonds’ 2004 trial. Edmonds, then only 14, was accused of murdering his brother-in-law, Joey Fulgham, who had been shot in the head with a single bullet.

Dr. Hayne performed the autopsy on Fulgham and concluded that “within reasonable medical certainty,” two people had likely fired the murder weapon. Dr. Hayne based his findings on his examination of the gunshot wound.

“Since it would be past the center line of the decedent’s head when fired, 20 degrees past the center line of the head, so therefore, it would be consistent with two people involved,” Dr. Hayne said on the witness stand.

Critical Testimony

Dr. Hayne’s testimony seemed to give credibility to the prosecution’s theory that Edmonds and his older sister acted together to murder her husband.

Edmonds’ attorneys appealed his conviction all the way to Mississippi Supreme Court, which overturned his conviction and ordered a new trial. The court seemed troubled by Dr. Hayne’s “speculative” and “scientifically unfounded” testimony.

“You cannot look at a bullet wound and tell whether it was made by a bullet fired by one person pulling the trigger or by two persons pulling the trigger simultaneously,” the court said.

In 2007, four years after he was arrested, Edmonds was released on bond. In 2008, he was retried and acquitted.

“They went to a second trial,” said Tucker Carrington, Director of the Mississippi Innocence Project, “and the one thing essentially that was missing was Dr. Hayne’s opinion.”

Tyler Edmonds and his lawyer speak with CNN's David Mattingly.
Tyler Edmonds and his lawyer speak with CNN's David Mattingly.

Other Tyler Edmonds'?

Carrington, whose group did not play a role in defending Edmonds, says they are concerned that Dr. Hayne’s testimony may have helped to convict other innocent people. They have launched a comprehensive review of Dr. Hayne’s testimony, and worry that Dr. Hayne may have been willing to tailor his testimony in order to help prosecutors.

“We have found cases where Dr. Hayne, like he did in Tyler Edmonds’ case, strays beyond the bounds of science, beyond the bounds of good objective forensic work, and offers testimony that in many cases, amounts to nonsense,” Edmonds said.

Carrington’s group is also alarmed by the number of autopsies Dr. Hayne had been performing every year – more than 1500. The National Association of Medical Examiners recommends that pathologists perform no more than 325 autopsies annually.

Accusations Refuted

Dr. Hayne’s lawyer, Dale Danks, maintains that his client has never sent an innocent man to jail and that he has never done anything improper to aid any side in a trial.

“The role of Dr. Hayne and any other pathologist is to state in his opinion, the cause of death and the manner of the cause of that death. And that’s all he testifies to,” said Danks. “His job has always been and should be and will be if I know him as well as I know him, to be impartial and fair and not take sides in either issue.”

If there was a mistake made in Edmonds’ first trial, according to Danks, it was made by the trial judge, who should not have allowed Dr. Hayne to testify about the two-shooter theory.

“It’s up to the judge as to whether or not that’s admissible or not. Not Dr. Hayne, not the prosecution, not the defense attorney.”

Danks also says it was Edmonds himself – in a false confession that was almost immediately recanted – who said he and his half-sister were both responsible for shooting Fulgham.

“That confession was part of the facts that were presented to Dr. Hayne. And based on Dr. Hayne’s findings of his autopsy report, he said it was more in tune with what the defendant had already confessed to,” said Danks.

High Number of Autopsies

As for the criticism that Dr. Hayne is performing autopsies at a rate far higher than nationally recommended, Danks says his client’s numbers are in line with other noted pathologists.

Still, the College of American Pathologists sent Dr. Hayne a letter last year to express “concern relating to the volume of autopsies you claim to perform on an annual basis.”

And last year, the Mississippi Department of Public Safety abruptly terminated its contract with Dr. Hayne to perform autopsies, citing a backlog of nearly 500 hundred reports. Forensic Medical, Inc., in Nashville, Tennessee, now conducts autopsies for the state. But several county coroners, citing the inconvenience of using an out of state company, want Hayne to be allowed to perform autopsies again.

Hayne is also suing the Innocence Project, claiming the group’s criticism of him is defamatory. Meanwhile, two wrongfully convicted men have filed federal civil rights lawsuits against Hayne over testimony he provided at their trials.

Picking Up The Pieces

Edmond’s half-sister, Kristi Fulgham, is now on Mississippi’s death row for the murder of Joey Fulgham.

Since being acquitted last November, Tyler Edmonds has been slowly putting the pieces of his life back together again. He has his high school diploma and plans to take classes to become an EMT.

But the transition back to freedom was difficult for him and his family, and he says he now has an appreciation for the simple things in life.

“The things that most people take for granted, or don’t even think about,” Edmonds said. “Like fixing your own plate when dinner’s ready. Being able to fix your own plate and not having it fixed for you and brought to you.”

Although Dr. Hayne insists he did nothing wrong, Edmonds thinks he played a major role in his wrongful conviction, and hopes someday he will hear an apology.

“I guess for me, the biggest thing it would show is that he’s taken some kind of accountability,” Edmonds said. “I’ve already had six years of my life stolen away because of it, and you’re not even man enough to stand up and say, It was unprofessional, I was wrong.”

CNN’s David Mattingly contributed to this report.

soundoff (72 Responses)
  1. Lynda MOrse

    Tom, Is it punishment you're looking for? Tyler has been punished!! He spent the last 5 years of his very young life locked up (segragated from the general population that he was terrified of) at Walnut Grove, one of the toughest juvenile detention facilities in the State of Mississippi. The only thing tougher is Parchment Prison. For whatever part (real or imagined) that Tyler may or may not have played in Joey Fulgham's death he has payed and payed very dearly. Thoughout his incarceration his only goal was to better himself, finish his education including, some college courses so that once he was released back into society he could prove to people who know and love him as well as the skeptical others that he does have very redeeming qualities and he could be and has been rehabilitated. That sir, is the purpose of incarceration!! Obviously from your comments it's not enough but it's more than enough for those who know Tyler.

    Aside from what Tyler has or hasn't done, this story is about the pathologist, Dr. Stephen Hayne. You seem to think it's perfectly acceptable for Hayne to CREATE the evidence that sent Tyler to prison. That to me is just unconscionable!! You sir have issues and no amount of prison time could or would change your vindictiveness.

    Last but not least....Shame Shame Shame on Anderson Cooper 360 for not giving credit where it's due. Radley Balko has worked exhaustively for the last 3 years on Hayne, making the treks to Mississippi, following leads, interviewing individuals (often at his own expense) dotting all the i's and crossing all the t's to expose Dr. Stephen Hayne for the fraud that he is. I think it's absolutely tasteless for AC 360 to not only contact his sources but fail to give him the credit he's due for all his hard work.

    Mr. Cooper seems to have forgotten that before Katrina he was just another struggling journalist himself!

    August 21, 2009 at 11:48 pm |
  2. Elizabeth, Mississippi

    Although I deeply appreciate the work of Radley Balco and many other journalists on this story, and in support of Tyler; something is off here in many of the above comments.

    No one owns the truth, or the facts, or the news. I view it as a complement to Mr. Balco. I pray CNN will air this important story and expose the facts nationally. This story has the potential to help many and aid all to insure a just system.

    It is a travesty of justice to have fraudulent or misleading "forensics" in any court of law. Sadly, it happens all over the country, further victimizing families and sending innocent people to jail, or to death. Dr. Hayne should not be performing autopsies anywhere, anytime. He should be in jail or at least prohibited from practicing in any form.

    I hope CNN will also take a hard look at juvenile justice in our country. Sadly, Tyler's case should never have been in an adult court; and no child should ever be interrogated without his parent AND a lawyer present. Laws in this country need to change.

    August 21, 2009 at 11:45 pm |
  3. Stephen Smith

    It's obvious that you didn't include a reference to Radley Balko because you were afraid that all you really did was write a summary of his reporting, but clearly that's backfired – now the comments section is riddled with mentions of it. You could have just mentioned that Radley Balko did some reporting, and then he wouldn't have written about it in his blog (by the way, you should know that nowhere did he mention that people should comment you or contact you – they did that out of their own personal senses of indignation) and people wouldn't have thought twice about it and you wouldn't have gotten all these comments.

    August 21, 2009 at 11:01 pm |
  4. Ashley

    In response to Tom, numerous studies have shown that juveniles can not comprehend long term consequeces of their actions. Look it up. In Amercia, our judicial system assumes any accused innocent until proven guilty. Tyler was found NOT GUILTY. Enough said about Tyler's role.

    As far as Tyler taking accountability, he sat in jail for 4 yrs for a murder he did not commit. The only wrongdoing Tyler did was lie and take accountability for something he DID NOT DO. Talk about accountability. He's payed more than enough for a lie. And Tom, if you REALLY want to talk about accountability, DO YOUR RESEARCH FIRST. Danny Edmonds knew BEFORE Tyler or anyone else that Kristi Fulgham was going to kill her husband, and he did nothing to stop it. You hold a CHILD to higher standard than you do a grown man? Until you learn what "acounability" is, and how it should really be applied, you should keep your opinions to yourself.

    August 21, 2009 at 10:53 pm |
  5. Ashley

    In response to Tom, numerous studies have shown that juveniles can not comprehend long term consequeces of their actions. Look it up. In Amercia, our judicial system assumes any accused innocent until proven guilty. Tyler was found NOT GUILTY. Enough said about Tyler's role.

    As far as Tyler taking accountability, he sat in jail for 4 yrs for a murder he did not commit. The only wrongdoing Tyler did was lie and take accountability for something he DID NOT DO. Talk about accountability. He's payed more than enough for a lie. And Tom, if you REALLY want to talk about accountability, DO YOUR RESEARCH FIRST. Danny Edmonds knew BEFORE Tyler or anyone else that Kristi Fulgham was going to kill her husband, and he did nothing to stop it. You hold a CHILD to higher standard than you do a grown man? When you learn what "acounability" is, and how it should really be applied, you should keep your opinions to yourself.

    August 21, 2009 at 10:51 pm |
  6. Tom

    I agree that Tyler was a juvenile at the time and should have faced juveniles sanctions not the adult system. That being said I am satisfied that he was found not guilty of the charges that were brought against him as the prosecutor could not prove that Tyler was the one that pulled the trigger as the prosecutor told the jury the confession shown. But now that Tyler is 20 years old and has had 7 years to reflect on that weekend he can not continue to deny any responsibility in the death of Joey Fulgham. To hear Tyler talk, if he had it to do all over again he wouldn't change a thing because he didn't do anything wrong the first time around he is completely innocent and I find that upsetting since there were two child orphaned as a result of that weekend who can never get back what was lost. The boy named for Tyler will be turning Tyler's age at the time of his father's death and will be celebrating that milestone fatherless.

    August 21, 2009 at 10:36 pm |
  7. Mister DNA

    "CNN’s David Mattingly contributed to this report."

    Just a friendly reminder, you misspelled "Reason's Radley Balko".

    To AC360 producer Joneil Adriano:

    Add my voice to the chorus of those saying that you really dropped the ball on this one by not giving credit to Radley Balko.

    I'm sure you realize that web pages are not written in stone, so it's a really simple task to add a correction to the story.

    Even your sources told Mr. Balko that CNN reporters told them they got their names from reading Balko's articles in Reason magazine.

    At a time when public opinion of journalism is at an all-time low, you've got a rare opportunity to take the high road. It will be interesting to see what happens.

    August 21, 2009 at 10:25 pm |
  8. Judi

    Hayne has blatantly and knowingly perjured himself from the git-go. He testifies that he is a certified 'forensic' pathologist...he is not!

    I will be more than glad to provide Anderson Cooper a list of links to the actual transcripts (courtesy of Radley Balko) any time.

    And to beat all, a group of coroners are trying to get Hayne back into the 'game' after he was fired by the state last August.

    I've been to the Attorney General's office, the FBI, the Miss. Board of Medical Licensure, called the state's reps and congressmen in D.C. and the govenor's office. Every one of them passes the proverbial buck onto someone else. Apparently it's not in their job description.

    They are shaking in their boots because they know they screwed up royally! They also know it's gonna cost a wad of dough to re-open the Hayne/West cases to say nothing of the wrongful conviction lawsuits that will surface.

    Too bad. The state knew about it and took the risk.

    Edmund Burke once said, "Evil flourishes when good men do nothing."

    Hence I am doing something. I have a petition online. I can't post the link but it is at Go Petition.

    I also implore Anderson Cooper to personally contact Radley Balko.

    I have his phone number if he needs it.

    I have no doubt Mr. Balko would be more that happy to share his treasure trove of information.

    I tried to submit lnks to Radley's article to Anderson before on here...but that was before I knew they would not publish links.

    Too bad, they should since these links are the lines that connect the dots on the infomation highway.

    To Tyler, you stay strong. Never back down standing up for what's right and what you believe in. Remember that there people such as myself who truly care and are fighting every day for justice.

    August 21, 2009 at 9:38 pm |
  9. Tom

    For those who choose to believe that Tyler gave his sister the gun to take care of a stray dog take a look at the photo above of Tyler and the dog he adopted from a shelter and put that with that with Tyler's character at the time as a caring person who would not hurt a fly. If Kristi would trust her father enough to tell him what she wanted the gun for it is plausible to think that she would have told Tyler the real reason too. Tyler can deny pulling the trigger but he was the one that supplied the gun that took the life of Joey Fulgham the man that was hurting his sister and did not like Tyler.

    August 21, 2009 at 9:13 pm |
  10. Calladus

    Hey, don't they teach journalists that taking credit for another person's work is wrong? You'd think there would be a name for that sort of thing.

    August 21, 2009 at 8:57 pm |
  11. Sean

    I am happy to see this story's coverage on CNN, but it is an old story that has been covered by Mr. Balko both on his blog and at Reason magazine. Dr. Hayne needs all the disinfectant such coverage will give him; I just wish Mr. Balko had been given some acknowledgment in the story.

    August 21, 2009 at 8:41 pm |
  12. Susan, Vancouver

    Why does one man's opinion wield such power? If someone's future or very life depends on an opinion, then we need more than two people giving one!!!

    August 21, 2009 at 8:31 pm |
  13. Annie Kate

    Tania's account in her comment is better than the original story. I hope that CNN will follow Balko and get more stories on Dr. Hayne – seems to be from what Tania wrote a man doing his killings from behind his title and from the witness/expert chair.

    August 21, 2009 at 8:18 pm |
  14. Tania

    Cooper: you'd have a great story doing a piece on Balko himself.

    I met Tyler about 2 weeks after his arrest...a baby in an orange jumpsuit who at 13 had barely one foot into adolescence....coloring in coloring books in a jal full of adults accused of every crime imaginable. I watched as motion after motion ...all very reasonable, e.g, putting Tyler's case in youth court (he was actually 13 at the time of the crime) were denied. I "went along for the ride with Tyler" and "held his hand" throughout this ordeal by letting him call me collect over and over, day after day after day to keep himself sane in an insane, adult-managed world where his life was at stake.

    The elected officials had a duty to protect this young man's rights. However, the DA and judge, both since discredited, chose to have a lot of fun with this boy. Good old boys just having a little fun....the worst case of state sanctioned child abuse I have heard of in a country where the vast majority of people seem to believe the justice system is actually fair. It's not, and no one, no one could do anything to stop the nightmare for this boy who had done nothing more wrong than lie (fib?) to protect a half-sister he did not know as well as he thought he did. Any reasonable adult reviewing the evidence (including notes from the sister, telling Tyler what to say to the police) would have concluded within a couple of minutes that Tyler had nothing to do with the murder..wasn't even aware it had happened until others informed him, his half-sister confessing to him a couple of hours later, begging him to take the rap for her because "nothing" would happen to a juvenile, but she would receive the death penalty.

    If it were not for Radley Balko and his steadfast research on Hayne, Tyler would still be rotting in prison today....most likely for the rest of his life. However, through his prior investigative journalism on Hayne, Balko gave the MS Supreme Court the piece of data they needed to get Tyler's conviction overturned. Without that, nothing would have happened. Nothing.

    The freedom of the two men now suing Hayne (one who had been sentenced to death) is also largely due to the work of Balko. Because of these cases, 85 other cases are currently under investigation, but according to Balko, Hayne has been able to creep back into the system and is back at work conducting autopsies. DA's sure do like working with Hayne.

    I can think of no other conflict of interest more disgusting: Balko's work and the overturned convictions clearly show that Hayne says whatever he wants to...incredibly ludicrous statements...to assist in gaining convictions for DA's in murder cases. Ironically, he is likewise paid to oversee the lethal injections at the state penitentiary.

    Dr. Stephen Hayne and DA's who have used Hayne to bolster their careers by upping their conviction rates are the embodiment of evil. For normal human beings, reading Balko's work is almost incomprehensible. It's hard to believe it's real.

    It is. It's unbelievable. It's unfathomable. But it's real.

    And, until Hayne is put to justice, the fight will not be over. .

    Tyler's request for an apology is something Hayne is not capable of. Sending innocent children to prison for life and innocent adults to death and then assisting with lethal injections is a clear sign this man has no conscience and is therefore not capable of remorse.

    Tyler was an A-B Honor Roll student, adored by his teachers, never in trouble a day in his life, helped the special ed students...a "white boy: in Mississippi. If this could happen to a boy like Tyler, there is no telling how many "not so white" innocent adults and children are losing their lives to Hayne and those who conspire with him.

    I very, very much appreciate your efforts on this story. I am grateful for this work you have done. But, go to to Balko and read his work and you will have 500 more stories that could finally bring an end to these kinds of horrors which happen a lot more than most people think..

    I am passionately urging you to look further into this story for the completely helpless victims of Dr. Stephen Hayne. The very first person executed in these United States of America after the moratorium on the death penalty was lifted was another one of Hayne's victims...most likely an unconstitutional execution, because the man was probably mentally retarded. I wonder if Hayne oversaw the injection. Please do what you can to help Radley Balko in his efforts to expose Dr. Stephen Hayne and others like him who prey on people whose voices will never be heard: children, the poor, and the mentally retarded. People with a conscience owe Radley Balko a very loud standing ovation.

    August 21, 2009 at 6:57 pm |
  15. Eric H

    Props for reporting this story, but its pretty crappy of you to not even acknowledge Radley Balko's work on this story.

    Because frankly, without Balko's work, this article could never have been written.

    August 21, 2009 at 6:31 pm |
  16. Heather,ca

    The truth is all specialtys of medicine have one thing in common,its an art. Which is amazing when its science that's supposed to help society. You could go to three different doctors who could look at the same x ray and give three different opinions. It stinks. These people go to medical school. It also could be just plain laziness. Its awful what happened to him.

    August 21, 2009 at 5:49 pm |
  17. Nessa

    You people are forgetting about the real problem "HAYNES" not who reported what first. He is lower than scum of the earth and i hope these people see what the big picture is. Sure they want him back so they have help winning their cases. Oh!Um.. some Sure wasn't done at the state of the art mortuary.

    August 21, 2009 at 5:46 pm |
  18. Christopher Monnier

    Thanks for running this story and giving it the attention it deserves. However, I think it would only be fair to give Radley Balko the credit HE deserves for doing the bulk of the investigative work on this topic.

    August 21, 2009 at 4:25 pm |
  19. Rhayader

    Great to see this snake oil salesman getting a little exposure.

    But I do need to add to the chorus and say that Radley Balko and Reason deserve credit for covering this for years.

    August 21, 2009 at 4:25 pm |
  20. Emily

    PLEASE credit Mr. Balko with the years of investigative reporting he has done to precede your story. Just because he did not do his work for a corporate media outlet does not mean he does not deserve appropriate credit for his story. It is insulting to the fine work that he does to ignore his contribution to your story.

    August 21, 2009 at 4:00 pm |
  21. Andrew S.

    I am glad to see this story get national exposure. But as several others have stated before me, credit should be given to Radley Balko for all the work he has done over a period of several years to expose Dr. Hayne's "work".

    August 21, 2009 at 3:55 pm |
  22. jb

    You know, we listen to endless harangues from the MSM about how bloggers and the internet are somehow irresponsible . . .

    And some are. Just as irresponsible for AC369 not crediting Balko for doing the lion's share of research on this case.

    Just another reason I usually avoid CNN. Late with the actual story, claiming journalistic credit where none is due.

    That's okay. For those in the know, Balko is far more timely, and trustworthy, than CNN.

    August 21, 2009 at 3:35 pm |
  23. SJE

    Its a disgrace that CNN can't even mention Radley Balko, who has been on this story for years: not just Tyler Edmonds, but all the other people in jail on the basis of Steven Hayne's testimony, the controversy about Hayne, other dubious medical experts etc.

    Are you expecting us to believe that CNN broke this story by itself?

    August 21, 2009 at 3:27 pm |
  24. Trea

    I was blown away when I read this article ... In the November 2007 issue of Reason Magazine. It was the cover story, and it was written by Radley Balko. It wasn't getting national attention from the major outlets back then, but better late than never. Still, how did CNN find this story? Seems to me like they pretty much ran with someone else's story without crediting him. Also, hard to take an article seriously that exposes someone who has no integrity in their profession ... when it's written by someone who also has a giant hole where integrity used to be. Thanks for catching up to 2007 and running a story on this unbelievably incompetent or dishonest forensic investigator. But Joneil is tone deaf or dishonest if he isn't ashamed of himself for passing this off as his story. Shame!

    August 21, 2009 at 3:18 pm |
  25. ayjay

    Important story, glad you're covering it, but you shouldn't steal from other journalists. Giving credit won't hurt you.

    August 21, 2009 at 3:06 pm |
  26. Wendy

    Radley Balko - that's right! I thought this piece seemed familiar.

    August 21, 2009 at 2:46 pm |
  27. Coyote

    Readers of Reason and Radley Balko have known about this story for years. There are few mainstream journalists, much less bloggers, who do more real, useful, journalism than does Balko. It is impossible for me to believe you did not run across his work at some point since four of the first five Google search results for "steven hayne" today were from or prominently mentioned Balko and Reason. You couldn't even contact the guy? I think his story pursuing Hayne is as interesting as the core story.

    August 21, 2009 at 2:44 pm |
  28. Laura Bishop

    I totally disagree with "Tom" above... I believe fully that Dr. Haynes based his autopsy finding on the initial confession that Tyler recanted. And as far as Tyler taking "responsibility for his actions"... We are talking about a child here people. Yes, I understand that children this age understand right from wrong, but they are easily swayed as well. I know Tyler personally, and there has never been any doubt in my mind that he is innocent. He is an incredible young man who was robbed of his childhood, and yes there are many to blame for that. The only thing that matters now is that he has his life back, and I know that he is destined for great things.

    August 21, 2009 at 2:29 pm |
  29. AnonCowHerd

    I second TWC's comment above. At least credit Radley Balko the work you piggybacked on.

    August 21, 2009 at 2:21 pm |
  30. iss100eric

    I am disturbed by a pathologist doing approximately 6 autopsies a day; that is a workload which is impossible to execute accurately. Further, this does not take in to account the pressure of an additional 500 body backlog.
    I also find the efforts of Dr. Haynes attorney to divert blame to the judge, at best disingenuous. It is not only self-serving it unsults the reader. Yes, the judge should have blocked the testimony, however, it was the pathologist who presented blatant fiction as scientific fact. It was the pathologist who bent fiction into false fact and sentenced at least one person to death. Blaming the judge is akin to saying the pathologist is innocent because he was either incompetent or a liar.
    Whichever he is, such actions should cost him his medical license.

    August 21, 2009 at 2:16 pm |
  31. Boston

    Balko scooped you by about 3 years. And all his stories are the first thing you see when you Google Steven Hayne.

    August 21, 2009 at 2:13 pm |
  32. Chris

    It's really quite incredible that you did not cite Radley Balko's work on this. That is lazy journalism at best and dishonest at worse.

    August 21, 2009 at 1:50 pm |
  33. Danno49

    Excellent article on exposing Dr. Hayne. Even more excellent was the first time Dr. Hayne's transgressions were reported by Radley Balko a few years back and all the articles written since on his blog. Mr. Balko was largely responsible for the 'good doctor' being investigated and subsequently losing his position as the state's forensic pathologist. Amazing how you don't credit the man who gave you this story.

    Shameful.

    August 21, 2009 at 1:45 pm |
  34. OrangeCouch

    Yes, I have to say you dropped the ball on this one... As TWC says, Radley Balko's work on this is eye opening (and predates this article by 2 yrs.) Just try googling "Dr. Steven Hayne"... First hit ... Radley's piece in Reason... November 2007...

    August 21, 2009 at 1:44 pm |
  35. Charles

    That Steven Hayne is a free man (and that people seem willing to defend what he's done) indicates something deeply wrong with this country.

    I also agree with The Wine Commonsewer. I heard about this guy like three years ago from Radley Balko, who has been working hard on it since then. It would be nice to see a little professional courtesy, I think.

    August 21, 2009 at 1:43 pm |
  36. Michael Kerney

    Good job collecting Radley Balko's reporting. Next time remember to give him credit.

    August 21, 2009 at 1:42 pm |
  37. RoseProphecy

    The problem with our world and society is that we always find scapegoats of our shortcoming and ignorance and lock them up especially when they are young it is not them who are the guilty: itis the parents and before the ignorant parents is the ignorant society which means the pathologists and drug pusher psychiatrists who half the time label these young children and put an end to their lives before they begin! It is time for change and implementing Rose Parvin's Self and Societal knowledge in her 9 books she wrote in 1994 in one year on a calling the be the mother of the world and to change the dark societal patterns!These books should be read by all professionals from teachers to preechers to mental health providers and to world leaders and judges for us to reform the world we must begin with those who make judgement against people who ultimately end up to be the scapegoats of societal ignorance!

    August 21, 2009 at 1:29 pm |
  38. Joe G. (Illinois)

    In the times of Nazi Germany people along with so called “Doctors” did many atrocious things to other Human Beings without ever showing any remorse because “It was all legal and Hitler told them to do it.” Fast forward to 2009 America and American people along with “The State of the Art Doctors” act complacent towards those who commit/support/advocate Abortion because it’s legal and their president told them that it’s Ok. To think that the “Doctors” don’t burn their manuals and text books and not show any professional or moral obligation to start fresh is a very eerie feeling.

    August 21, 2009 at 1:24 pm |
  39. Jeremy Weiland

    Way to steal Radley Balko's work without crediting him.

    August 21, 2009 at 1:21 pm |
  40. Frank

    Hey, Radley Balko has been reporting on this for over three years. Where the heck were you people? Or do you just plagiarize other people's work for a living?

    August 21, 2009 at 1:20 pm |
  41. Judi

    I agree Wine Commonsewer. Radley Balko is the 'bulldog' whose hard work and determination have broought the Hayne fiasco to light.

    He deserves the credit. Personally, Anderson Cooper should interview Radley, Oliver Diaz and Tucker Carrington from the Innocence Project. I know a few more folks he needs to talk to as well to get the full impact.

    I also hope that Anderson will include a story on Dr. Michael West, the dentist and Hayne's co-hort out of Hattiesburg, Mississippi.

    West was caught on tape and exposed big time when a detective sent a copy of his OWN teeth to him along with a photo of the bitemark on a 'victim'.

    West explains for approx. 30 minutes how these teeth impressions 'match' the bitemark on the victim's body. Keep in mind this was a set-up and the teeth actually belonged to the investigator!

    Now there's another story!

    August 21, 2009 at 1:19 pm |
  42. Michael Jones

    Wow!

    Such an in depth article on Mr. Hayne, and not one mention of Radley Balko or Reason magazine's coverage of the last three years.

    It's like CNN went out of their way to not give credit where credit is due...

    August 21, 2009 at 1:16 pm |
  43. Judi

    I disagree with Tom. Mrs. Fulgham would have carried out the deed regardless of where the weapon came from or what type of method she used.

    Tyler was a child at the time of the murder. Easily persuaded and very frightened.

    Hayne is a laughing stock and a quack...period. I know the the stories behind many of his autopsies that have sent innocent people to prison and death row.

    He is NOT a cerified M.E. nor a forensic pathologist. Therefore he is not qualified.

    If you knew what I know about this man, you would be appalled as I am.

    August 21, 2009 at 1:11 pm |
  44. Smith

    Tyler has taken his resoponsibility. If his sister would have told him what she really wanted the gun for then this would have never happened. Instead she told him it was to take care of a stray dog. There is no way Dr. Haynes looked at that wound and could tell if one or two people were holding that gun or not.

    August 21, 2009 at 1:10 pm |
  45. Lynda MOrse

    SOOOOO Much is glaringly wrong with Hayne's assertions but I'll start with this...

    [quote]“That confession was part of the facts that were presented to Dr. Hayne. And based on Dr. Hayne’s findings of his autopsy report, he said it was more in tune with what the defendant had already confessed to,” said Danks.[/quote]

    I'm sure there is or will be a couch potato lawyer that will attempt to defend this crap but the bottom line is, Dr. Hayne should not have been made privy to any confession or alleged facts in Tyler Edmonds case. His job as a medical examiner is to DETERMINE the CAUSE of death. In other words, he is given a (a corspe), nothing more, nothing less and from physical findings, makes a determination as to the cause of death.

    In Tyler's case Hayne was not only given a BLANK SLATE he was also handed a "confession and alleged facts" and miracles of miracles his physical findings completely MATCHED the States BOGUS CLAIM that there were 2 hands on the trigger of the gun that killed Joey Fulgham.

    Not to mention that Hayne allso testified as an EXPERT in Forensics which he is not and never has been.

    August 21, 2009 at 1:04 pm |
  46. The Wine Commonsewer

    Radley Balko does nice work. Too bad you didn't have the decency to acknowledge that since he did all the heavy lifting over the last two years.

    August 21, 2009 at 12:49 pm |
  47. Deb

    Tom, if he should take responsibility for bringing the gun to his sister, then maybe the company who made the gun should also take responsibility because if the company hadn't made the gun, Tyler wouldn't have been able to take it and give it to his sister. And who is to say she wouldn't have found another weapon to kill her husband with? Too many if's.

    August 21, 2009 at 12:44 pm |
  48. Kirsten Tynan

    It's a shame that CNN hasn't bothered to credit Radley Balko for his extensive work on this issue. One might wonder if Mr. Balko's work is where most of this story and CNN's interest in it actually originated. Mr. Balko's extensive work on Hayne over the last three years can be found at Reason Magazine online or Mr. Balko's blog (The Agitator).

    August 21, 2009 at 12:38 pm |
  49. Shamsa

    Hi
    Autopies are an integral part of a pathologist training. No one want to do it.. Only a a few pathology residents want to do Froenic Pathology as there is a very little place for advencement. We don't have any Quincy in real life.
    Shamsa

    August 21, 2009 at 12:35 pm |
  50. Tom

    Tyler Edmonds wants Dr. Haynes to takes some accountability for his actions as he should for taking what is suppose to be a objective look at the evidence and present his findings. So should Tyler Edmonds take responsibility for supplying the weapon that took Joey Fulgham's life. Had it not been for Tyler taking the weapon from his home, without permission, Joey Fulgham would be alive today and Tyler would not have been arrested and his sister not be on Death Row. Accountability starts with a look in the mirror.

    August 21, 2009 at 12:26 pm |
1 2