Nueces County Assistant Medical Examiner Fired

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Dr Sandra Lyden was fired from her job at the medical examiner’s office last Friday – the same day investigators seized 33 records from her office.

CORPUS CHRISTI, Texas – 3News has learned that the Nueces County Deputy Chief Medical Examiner was abruptly fired on Friday, Jan. 14. It turns out that the dismissal stems from serious disagreements at the medical examiner’s office.

It came after Dr Sandra Lyden allegedly told an autopsy that a Corpus Christi woman’s death was caused by “blunt force injuries”. This was later proven to be incorrect after a second autopsy.

According to a probable cause statement that was part of a search warrant from the Nueces County prosecutor, Dr. Sandra Lyden did not have a license to practice medicine in Texas, nor a Texas temporary emergency license to practice medicine. medicine in the state.

The Texas Medical Board provided 3News with a “health care provider verification profile” which actually indicates that Dr. Sandra Diane Lyden’s license to practice in the state of Texas has been terminated.

The probable cause statement, written by Corpus Christi Police Department Detective Jason Smith, states that Dr. Lyden admitted to performing the autopsy on the Corpus Christi woman on January 3, writing in the report that, ” based on the autopsy and the history available to me, it is my opinion that the cause of death of the 27-year-old white woman was the result of ‘blunt force injuries’.”

Smith writes in his report that Dr. Lyden said the deceased had a broken neck which caused death, which is why it was ruled a homicide. The probable cause statement indicates that Detective Smith then met with the district attorney and a decision was made to have a second independent autopsy performed.

The body was transported to Georgetown, Texas for this second autopsy and the woman was determined to have died of natural causes.

Now, Nueces County Medical Examiner Dr. Adel Shaker has told Det. Smith that he was present during the woman’s initial autopsy, adding that “he agreed with Dr. Lyden, his diagnosis and conclusions”.

Detective Smith goes on to reveal in his statement that Dr. Lyden was hired by Shaker on December 6, 2021, and Shaker knew that Lyden “was not licensed to practice medicine in Texas.”

3News spoke with Nueces County Judge Barbara Canales about what she knows about the case. She said she spoke with Dr. Shaker.

“He was practicing without a license, and I then asked,” Canales said, “did she have a license when you brought her from Florida? Is she a doctor? Yes. Is she a pathologist? Yes. Did she she asked for reciprocity here in Texas? Yes. Do you have proof? Yes. Is there a sponsorship that goes with that? Yes. And he signed this sponsorship that goes with that? Yes. And he signed this sponsorship.And do you know if she actually received the application process and got the permit.He said no.

Canales said she asked the governor to send help to help the understaffed medical examiner’s office while the county searches for a replacement.

The information available to 3News is very limited as the case remains part of an ongoing investigation by the Nueces County District Attorney’s office.

Dr. Sandra Lyden was fired from her position at the medical examiner’s office last Friday. It was the same day that investigators, armed with a warrant, seized 33 autopsy records that Dr. Lyden was working on. They also included a document granting cremation orders and a large bag containing an assortment of prescription drugs from patients taken from Dr. Lyden’s office.

Nueces County commissioners are expected to address the matter when they meet again on Monday. 3News will keep you up to date.


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