Jonesboro, Arkansas police say a Mississippi man shot himself in the head while handcuffed in the back of a patrol car. Forensic expert, Dr. Michael Baden says that in his decades of work, he has never heard of something like that happening.

The mother of Chavis Carter, 21, doubts the police account of her son’s death. According to the incident report, police searched Carter twice, handcuffed him with his hands behind and placed him in the back of the car. Officers Keith Baggett and Ron Marsh claim that Chavis then used a gun he had concealed on his person to shoot himself in the head.

theGrio: Chavis Carter case: Mother disputes police story of squad car suicide

Dr. Baden, the former chief medical examiner for New York City and currently the chief forensic pathologist for New York State police, is best known for his testimony during the OJ Simpson trial, told theGrio: “if they searched him they should have found a gun. … He could have shot the cops, not himself.”

Baden added that in his decades of work in the field of forensics, “I have never heard this happen…. On the surface, without knowing enough [about the specific case], it is unusual.”

Baden stressed that he does not know the details of the Carter case and said there is more information that he would need in order to draw any firm conclusions. “Was it a contact gunshot wound or a distance shot?” he asked. According to Baden, if it was a “distance shot” then there is no way that Carter could have fired the gun. “What was the angle of the bullet? … does the bullet in the head match with the bullet in the gun?” Baden continued.

theGrio: Chavis Carter case: Officers released 2 others before alleged ‘suicide’

Police in Jonesboro are conducting an investigation to determine how Carter was shot. The two officers have been placed on administrative leave.

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