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Coroner prepares to sign death certificate

©Associated Press

© St. Petersburg Times,
published June 11, 2001

TERRE HAUTE, Ind. -- Kevin Mayes can't recall how many death certificates he's signed during his 13 years as a coroner.

This morning, however, Mayes expects to sign a death certificate he will never forget -- Oklahoma City bomber Timothy McVeigh's.

Once the execution is over, Vigo County Coroner Susan Amos will conduct an external examination of the body. If all appears normal, she will pronounce McVeigh dead. Mayes, the chief deputy coroner, will then sign the death certificate and the body will be released to U.S. marshals.

If something unusual is found during the examination, Amos can ask U.S. District Judge Richard Matsch of Denver, who presided over McVeigh's 1997 trial, for permission to perform a full autopsy.

The death certificate will include all the standard features: McVeigh's name, the names of his mother and father, the date, time and cause of death and the manner of death -- likely to be homicide.

"The cause probably will be lethal injection," Mayes said. "But the manner of death, it is my suspicion, will be homicide. Most people roll their eyes because they think of a homicide as a murder. But the definition of a homicide in Indiana is when one person kills another person."

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From the Times wire desk
  • McVeigh upbeat, ready to die
  • Coroner prepares to sign death certificate
  • Request to tape execution denied
  • An end in Oklahoma
  • A crowd in Indiana
  • Demonstrators decry 'killing in our name'

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