Medical examiner says Taser did not contribute to Springfield death

Wednesday, February 17, 2010 | 9:28 a.m. CST; updated 9:50 a.m. CST, Wednesday, February 17, 2010

SPRINGFIELD — The medical examiner said the death of a man who was Tasered by Springfield police and bitten by a police dog was an accident.

Edward Adelstein, who works with the Greene County Medical Examiner's office, said 39-year-old Michael Hawkins died on Dec. 20 from an irregular heart beat. He said neither the Taser strike nor the dog bite contributed to the death.

The Springfield News-Leader reports that Adelstein found that Hawkins' weakened heart muscle and "toxic levels of methamphetamine" contributed to his death.

Police have said they confronted Hawkins in a crawl space at a Springfield motel when he refused to come out. The dog bit him and police hit him with a Taser shot before Hawkins surrendered. He died later at a hospital.


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