Coroner's death affects several cases in Jefferson County - WSFA.com: News Weather and Sports for Montgomery, AL.

Coroner's death affects several cases in Jefferson County

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Dr. David Brissie Dr. David Brissie
BIRMINGHAM, AL (WBRC) -

The death of Jefferson County's chief coroner could have an impact on several murder trials.

Before he died suddenly in November, Dr. David Brissie conducted autopsies in several murder cases. Prosecutors have filed motions asking that his autopsy records be allowed into trial as evidence. They are asking the courts to allow them to be entered as business records or to grant another county coroner to testify to the reports.

Some defense attorneys argue that allowing the records violates a defendant's right to cross examine witnesses.

"What I am saying is based on the law on our constitution, on a ruling by the Supreme Court and the Alabama Appellate Court. It's not something I manufactured out of thin air," said Joe Basgier, an attorney with Bloomston and Basgier.

"Are you going to let a lot of people's murders go untried, defendants just released because someone died? No, you're not going to do that," said Jefferson County Chief Deputy D.A. Bill Vietch.

The judges in each of the cases where Brissie's testimony is in question have yet to make a ruling.

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