EDMOND — A key hearing in the “Bicycle Bob” homicide case likely will be delayed due to the loss of the top two pathologists in the state medical examiner’s office, a county prosecutor said.
Scott Rowland, first assistant district attorney in the Oklahoma County DA’s office, said the firing of Chief Medical Examiner Dr. Collie M. Trant and the recent resignation of Dr. Eric Duval, deputy chief medical examiner, mean it is likely that the preliminary hearing for defendants in the Dwite Morgan homicide case will be delayed.
Rowland said after Trant’s dismissal, the DA’s office learned that the autopsy report on Dwite Morgan was incomplete. Duval’s exit added further certainty as to the possibility of a delay, Rowland said.
A final decision on postponement of the preliminary hearing in the Morgan case likely will be made this week, Rowland said.
The 54-year-old Morgan, widely known in Edmond as “Bicycle Bob,” was found dead Oct. 18 in his sleep spot near downtown.
Connor Adam Mason, 20, of Edmond, and Nikolas David Kerr, 20, of Edmond, face a first-degree murder charge, and Heather Irene Holden, 20, of Edmond, faces an accessory after the fact of first-degree murder charge in Morgan’s death.
Morgan autopsy report incomplete
Cherokee Ballard, spokeswoman for the ME’s office, said because of Trant’s firing a number of cases were reassigned to other pathologists. One of them was the report on Morgan’s autopsy. Ballard said she did not know the total number of cases affected by Trant’s departure.
Tom Jordan, chief administrator for the ME’s office, said Duval resigned to take a position in his home state. Jordan said Duval never really intended to work in Oklahoma for a long period of time. Duval’s resignation became final on Feb. 22.
In June, the National Association of Medical Examiners determined that the Oklahoma City ME’s office fails to meet the minimum criteria established for accreditation.
The Oklahoma City ME’s office performs about 1,400 autopsies/views per year, according to the association’s inspection findings. About six to seven pathologists would be needed for this workload. There was not enough space to accommodate the needed extra tables.
Jordan said the Oklahoma City ME’s office receives 50-60 new cases a week.