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Autopsy report reveals man who died in El Paso police custody had meth in his system

EL PASO, Texas (KVIA) -- ABC-7 obtained the autopsy report of 35-year-old Jonathan Rose Eddens, an El Paso man who died in police custody on April 14, 2024. The report from the County of El Paso Office of the Medical Examiner lists the cause of death as toxic effects of methamphetamine and the manner of death as an accident.

Eddens' toxicology report revealed methamphetamine in his blood, something the medical examiner said in his opinion section of the autopsy report was solely the cause of death due to drug toxicity. Eddens also tested presumptively positive for cocaine, amphetamines, and fentanyl in his urine drug screen.

In the opinion, the medical examiner stated the use of physical restraint and electrical weapons did not play a role in Eddens' cause of death. Hypertensive cardiovascular disease is listed as a contributing condition to the cause of death, as this could have increased Eddens' risk of arrhythmia.

The El Paso Police Department had released body cam footage of this incident as part of their "Community Brief Videos," an effort to display the department's transparency and provide context to the public when serious incidents like this happen.

The video shows police confronting Eddens after he refused to speak with officers as they ask him to stop. As the confrontation grows, the officers attempt to detain Eddens, leading to a physical struggle when he refused to be detained.

A stun gun is used multiple times on Eddens and it appears that he is punched and kicked as officers try to arrest him.

Despite the toxic effects of methamphetamine being listed as the cause of death, the report says the manner of death is subject to change if new evidence comes to light.

Article Topic Follows: El Paso

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Tony Gutierrez


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