PA “Celebrity” Pathologist Wecht’s Case Dropped


U.S. Attorney Mary Beth Buchanan in Pittsburgh still believes that former Allegheny County Coroner Dr. Cyril Wecht committed crimes. Wecht believes that Buchanan is a sore loser, says the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. Even as she dismissed the case against him, the two sides continued to snipe at each other in victory and defeat. Buchanan said she dropped the case against the prominent forensic pathologist because of a court order suppressing much of the evidence.

Wecht criticized the government for filing an 84-count indictment and whittling it down to just 14 counts before dismissing the entire case. “What does that say about professional decency and ethical responsibility?” he asked. The formal case began in January 2006, when Wecht was indicted on counts including mail and wire fraud and theft from an organization receiving federal funds. The prosecution contended that Wecht, who has worked on dozens of celebrity death investigations, was misusing county resources for the benefit of his private pathology business. Witnesses said Wecht had staff from the coroner’s office chauffeuring his family to events and running private errands for him — including delivering hot dogs for a political fundraiser. A jury deadlocked on all counts. Then a newly assigned judge ruled that search warrants served on Wecht’s private offices and on a laptop computer used by his administrative assistant were too general.

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