The Edmond Sun

December 30, 2011

OUR VIEW: It’s time to bring ME’s office to Edmond

The Edmond Sun

EDMOND — The exhumation of Dwite Morgan’s body earlier this month by state and local authorities is a travesty and symbolizes what has been wrong with the Oklahoma Medical Examiner’s Office.

Morgan, better known around Edmond as “Bicycle Bob,” was a local homeless man who was found murdered near downtown Edmond in October 2009. Since then, bringing those responsible for his death to justice has taken several strange turns. First, another young homeless man was arrested for the crime, only to be released a short time later. Then two more young Edmond men were arrested and one awaits a first-degree murder trial in February.

Edmond Police recently found what they believe to be the murder weapon in a small neighborhood pond, but the key piece of evidence that might confirm this as the right weapon was buried with Morgan. The then-chief medical examiner noted the foreign object in Morgan’s skull in an autopsy report, but did not remove it, despite a request from Edmond Police to do so.

The person responsible for this horrible gaffe has already been fired by the state. We’re hopeful that Oklahoma’s newest medical examiner Dr. Eric Pfeiffer can find a way to restore the public’s confidence in this necessary office.

One of the best ways to help the Medical Examiner’s Office regain both its credibility and its accreditation would be to follow through with legislative plans to build a new facility on the University of Central Oklahoma campus and create the type of working environment that would allow the medical examiner and his staff to better serve all Oklahomans.While the Legislature approved the move in 2010, it did not offer a funding mechanism to accomplish this task. It’s time for the Legislature of 2012 to get the ball rolling on this critical issue so that no more families like Morgan’s have to suffer the indignities of exhuming their loved ones just to see justice served.