Local News

Autopsy: Taser didn't kill man, cocaine overdose did

Posted May 6, 2010 12:41 p.m. EDT
Updated May 6, 2010 1:00 p.m. EDT

— A Wayne County man who died in January during an altercation with deputies died of a cocaine overdose, according to an autopsy report released Thursday.

Joe Spruill Jr., 33, became unruly as two Wayne County deputies tried to arrest him for disorderly conduct on Jan. 27, authorities said. One deputy fired his Taser at Spruill to subdue him, and while the deputies were waiting for paramedics to arrive, they noticed that Spruill was lying motionless in the road.

Spruill's family said he had a heart condition.

The medical examiner determined, however, that Spruill died of a cocaine overdose. A torn plastic bag was found in his esophagus, and tests showed a lethal amount of cocaine in his system, according to the autopsy report.