Those of us who follow a lot of trials here and else immediately recognized the name Baden when the family attorney announce he would be doing an independent investigation. I won’t go into the reasons why we place no credibility into his work, you can either take word for it or google his name. You will find plenty to read. I was not familiar with the name Shawn Parcells and with three autopsies I really didn’t care much about that one. If you recall, the I said from the beginning that the only one I care about is the first one. It would have the intact body, unwashed, include toxicology and be the most relevant to the case, in my opinion. It was conducted by Mary Case, the Chief Medical Examiner of Saint Louis County.
I had a decent following during the Jodi Arias trial and as always people began contacting me by email to tell me inside scoop and rumors. One of those people, who still comments here but shall remain nameless, is close to a pathologist who is in the loop on some high-profile cases. The commenter emailed me in textspeak the other night and I didn’t have time to interpret but finally asked the commenter to break it down in plain English for me and the gist of the email is that allegedly Baden did not conduct the actual autopsy, he just gave an opinion. The actual autopsy was done by Shawn Parcells who is not licensed to conduct autopsies.
Wait what? Not licensed to conduct autopsies? So off I go to read about this fool and see if it’s true. In fact, if I had jumped on the text speak email this would be breaking news. However, I still seem to be the only one reporting that allegedly Shawn Parcells conducted the autopsy.
“He is doing forensic autopsies which may send someone to prison, and he is not a physician, much less a forensic pathologist,” she told TheDC, adding that forensic pathologists and medical examines throughout the U.S. “are shocked by this man and how bold he is to do what he does. No one stops him.” she said.
Case said that Baden, 80, “is an excellent forensic pathologist.” At a press conference Monday, Baden said the same thing about her.
“I am a forensic pathologist assistant and medical investigator,” Parcells told FOX 4’s Shannon O’Brien.
However, that’s something of a dubious title according to forensic pathologist Dr. Erik Mitchell.
“That is a degree that does not exist in my knowledge, except in the mind of Shawn Parcells,” Dr. Mitchell said.
Dr. Mitchell takes issue with Parcells’ title. “You cannot claim the title, because it is a formal, licensable position. You can assist somebody; in this way I can say, for instance, I have paid my taxes, so I am an assistant President of the United States,” Dr. Mitchell said.
Parcells admits he has no certification as a pathology assistant, but says his qualification comes from experience.
“I worked there as a forensic assistant for about a year. And if I remember correctly that was 2005 to 2006. That was under Dr. Young,” Parcells said. That’s Dr. Thomas Young, the former Jackson County Medical Examiner. “And that’s honestly where I gained a lot of my experience,” Parcells said. Parcells says his training began in 1997 when he interned with Dr. Young, until he was hired in the mid-2000’s.
Dr. Young responded with this statement:
“Shawn hung out at the Jackson County Medical Examiner’s office but was not trained by me.”…. “He has been representing himself in a way that is not appropriate by giving forensic pathology opinions when he is not qualified to do so.He has none of the qualifications that are required. He has experience as a morgue technician, somebody who would move bodies around, clean up after an autopsy,” Dr. Mitchell said.
Parcells says he has detractors because of a competitive system.“A lot of this was started because I have competitors who I was taking business from. And the coroners, also, is a very political system. It’s buddy-buddy, who’s your buddy?” Parcells said.
Dr. Mitchell doesn’t agree. “Jealousy has nothing to do with the issue with Parcells. Parcells is practicing medicine without a license,” he said.
What is interesting to me is that Crump and the Brown family seemed very eager to get their autopsy out into the media as soon as possible. Why is that? It totally discredits their prime witness Dorian Johnson. The report states that all of the gunshots where fired to the front of Brown’s body, or more specifically that there were no shots to the back of the body. They claim that the autopsy can’t determine whether or not Brown’s hands were up when he was shot. It was not the autopsy result they were hoping for. So why the rush to put it out there? I could speculate a few things. Crump, Baden, and Parcells are all media whores. Is that enough reason? For them probably. But the pathology source I have says that the local autopsy will be much more clear in going against the chain of events the Brown family has put their faith in. The “Baden” autopsy will be the best one for the Brown family (as bad as it is for their case) so they are trying to get it out ahead of the local, competent medical examiner.
One other thing to consider, the Parcells person got the body second. Because he is not a trained pathologist, Lord only knows how much damage he caused to the body before it got to the Department of Justice pathologist. So the third autopsy could also have some issues.
To clarify a point: I believe that Baden was credited with the autopsy because he is the only forensic pathologist in the room then he allegedly just let the guy who has mopped up after a few autopsies do the examination. Allegedly.
This is the part where I tell you that once again I was right and the only autopsy that should be considered is the first one.
UPDATE: All you investigative types are sending me this link to a pathology blog regarding numerous issues with Shawn Parcells this one is his bloviated defense to all the negative articles that have going on since last year. It is super long and there are enough stories to keep you there reading all day. Or you could just read the two sources above that discredit the jackhole entirely. It all depends on how you want to spend your day. Frankly, I am trying to keep a promise to my dog and get out and enjoy the weather for at least ten minutes today.