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Autopsy: Alcoholism likely caused death of man at Vance County Jail

Posted January 23, 2010

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— The state Chief Medical Examiner ruled that "acute and chronic alcoholism" likely contributed to the death of a man in custody at the Vance County Jail in November 2009, according to autopsy results released Friday.

Alfonso Perry, 36, was brought to the jail to be held overnight after he was found lying on the side of a road, apparently intoxicated on Nov. 27, 2009, according to the autopsy report. He was responsive but slurring his speech.

While putting on a jumpsuit, Perry collapsed, the report says. Officers called EMS and said he was having trouble breathing. The autopsy indicates reports that he first began shaking before he collapsed.

The medical examiner wrote that a definite cause for Perry's death could not be established. He had some heart disease, but not enough to be fatal, the autopsy report says.

"It is likely, however, that his death is related to his acute and chronic alcohol abuse either directly or indirectly," the report says. His shaking and collapse could have been symptoms of an alcohol-related seizure, the report says.

The Vance County Sheriff's Office requested the autopsy and help from the State Bureau of Investigation after Perry's death.


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