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Pickaway Co. protesting paying for Ariel Castro's autopsy

Pickaway Co. protesting paying for Ariel Castro's autopsy

CIRCLEVILLE, Ohio (WTVN) -- The bill for the autopsy of Ariel Castro has a central Ohio county upset. Since the Orient prison where Castro hanged himself on Sept. 3 is in Pickaway County, commissioners there got the bill.

"All three commissioners had the sense that this really didn't seem very fair," said Pickaway County Commissioner Brian Stewart.

The autopsy was performed in Franklin County. The bill comes out to $1,100. State law actually says when an autopsy is performed, and the "injury causing death occurred within the boundaries of a county other than the one in which the autopsy was performed," it's up to that county to pay the cost.

Stewart doesn't think this is the sort of thing lawmakers were talking about when that code was adopted in 1969. He hopes the state makes a change and decides to set a new precedent.

"$1,100 is certainly a bigger chunk of Pickaway County's budget than it is the state of Ohio's budget," said Stewart.

So far this year the county has racked up around $25,000 in costs for autopsies, not all of them from the prisons. Stewart says in a time when local governments are pinching pennies it seems like they shouldn't have to put the burden on the people of Pickaway County.

"Our plan is not to pay the bill," Stewart said.

Commissioners have written a letter to the Ohio Department of Rehabilitation and Corrections requesting they take care of the bill. A spokesperson for the Ohio DRC replied to our response for comment by pointing to the portion of the Ohio Revised Code that puts the responsibility on the county.

 

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