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Texas Medical Examiner Suspended After Audit Finds 59 Mistakes In 40 Homicide Cases

Fort Worth, TX – A Tarrant County medical examiner has been suspended after an audit found he had made 59 mistakes during the autopsies of 40 murder victims over a 10-month period in 2019 and 2020.

Tarrant County Deputy Medical Examiner Dr. Marc Krouse, who has testified in some of the county’s highest-profile homicide cases, joined the county coroner’s office in 1981, KXAS reported.

The Fort Worth Star-Telegram reported the Krouse conducted the autopsies in six of the 40 case that were reviewed in the audit.

The audit of Krouse’s cases began after the body of 19-year-old Alfredo Olivares had to be exhumed because Krouse missed a second bullet during an autopsy.

Longtime Tarrant County Medical Examiner Dr. Nizam Peerwani said that Krouse was suspended from doing autopsies in homicide cases in November of 2020 after he mistook a bullet wound for a surgical incision, KXAS reported.

The audit conducted by Peerwani determined that Krouse made nine mistakes on Olivares’ autopsy, including reporting he had been shot once when he had sustained two bullet wounds.

However, the audit found that the second gunshot wound was noted in hospital and ambulance records that Krouse hadn’t bothered to read, KXAS reported.

Krause also failed to recognize and note other injuries to Olivares’ body in his autopsy report, according to the audit.

Peerwani’s audit also criticized Krouse’s investigation into the February 2020 death of 57-year-old Jose Moreno, a paraplegic with a bullet permanently lodged in his spine from a 1989 workplace shooting, KXAS reported.

Krouse’s autopsy determined Moreno died of complications from paraplegia due to the gunshot wound; however, the deputy medical examiner didn’t do an autopsy or recover the bullet.

He labeled Moreno’s death a homicide, KXAS reported.

The audit found Krouse should have, but failed to, investigate whether a drug overdose or heart condition had caused the man’s death, making the homicide classification inappropriate.

Prosecutors said the Dallas County District Attorney John Creuzot will be conducting an independent and full-scale review of all of the cases Krause was responsible for, according to KXAS.

Tarrant County prosecutors recused themselves from the investigation.

The audit report confirmed all but one of Krause’s cause of death and manner of death determinations in the cases that Peerwani reviewed, KXAS reported.

But the report found Krouse repeatedly failed to request or review hospital records and ambulance reports

The audit also found that in a limited number of cases, the deputy medical examiner failed to confirm a victim’s identity using their fingerprint or other scientific means and failed to collect blood and other issues describing injuries, according to KXAS.

Peerwani described Krouse’s errors as “egregious” in two of the 40 cases.

The Tarrant County District Attorney’s Office sent a letter to attorneys representing defendants whose cases were affected after the review of Krouse’s autopsies found descriptive errors and omissions in 27 cases, the Fort Worth Star-Telegram reported.

“In most cases, these did not necessarily impact the assignment of cause or the manner of death, the reports left questions unanswered and demonstrated lack of due diligence,” the letter read.

A review of Peerwani’s audit of Krouse’s work showed that the audit itself was flawed, KXAS reported.

The audit had errors in names, ages, case numbers, and locations.

One of the autopsies was dated four days before the 15-year-old boy’s death was reported, according to KXAS.

Peerwani said he would correct the mistakes in the audit, which he called mostly typographical errors.

“I will look at it and change it,” he told KXAS. “It’s not a big deal.”

Krouse was placed on administrative leave on March 25.

The Tarrant County District Attorney’s Office said the disgraced pathologist planned to leave his job on April 24, KXAS reported.

Written by
Sandy Malone

Managing Editor - Twitter/@SandyMalone_ - Prior to joining The Police Tribune, Sandy wrote the Politics.Net column for the Wall Street Journal and was managing editor of Campaigns & Elections magazine. More recently, she was an internationally-syndicated columnist for Conde Nast (BRIDES), The Huffington Post, and Monsters and Critics. Sandy is married to a retired police captain and former SWAT commander.

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Written by Sandy Malone

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