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Missing autopsy report still not explained

An attorney for the Mississippi Department of Public Safety could not appear in Lincoln County Circuit Court Monday to explain why the office in charge of autopsy reports can’t produce one for a homicide that occurred more than a year ago.

Eric Brown appeared in Brookhaven before Judge Michael Taylor in November to explain Dr. J. Brent Davis had a conflict and could not appear in court to explain why his final report in the examination of the late Billy Ray Thomas Jr. has not been completed. Taylor had demanded in a show cause letter Oct. 22 that Davis do one or the other — either show up or produce the report.

Brown explained in November Davis could do neither so the judge set a new date of Dec. 17 for either Davis to appear in person or the report to be filed.

Taylor rescheduled the hearing to Jan. 14.

The missing autopsy report is needed in the case against Justin Devon Anderson, who is facing first-degree murder and aggravated assault charges in the Nov. 25, 2017, shooting at The Oasis nightclub in Brookhaven. Thomas was fatally shot and six others were wounded.

Taylor wants a fair and speedy trial for Anderson, who remains in Lincoln County Jail.