Anderson Family Requests Independent Autopsy

By: Victoria Langley
By: Victoria Langley

The family of a boy who died after a boot camp beating that was caught on tape says they will have a new autopsy performed.

The Bay County medical examiner concluded Martin Anderson died of a genetic disorder, but the family believes he was murdered.

Martin Anderson's mother and father announced at their lawyer's office that they'd made the difficult decision to have their son's body exhumed. Two independent experts will perform a new autopsy on the 14-year-old, who died hours after being roughed up by Panama City boot camp guards in the altercation caught on tape.

Robert Anderson, the teen’s father, was not happy.

“It's a crying shame we've got to go and pull my son up again just to get the truth.”

The Bay County Medical Examiner ruled Martin died from sickle cell trait, a blood disorder relatively common among African Americans. Now Hillsborough County's ME and a renowned forensic pathologist, Dr. Michael Baden, will perform a new autopsy, then prepare their own reports.

Martin Anderson's body is scheduled to be exhumed on the 12th with the autopsy the following day, and his family knows there's the possibility the doctors might agree sickle cell played a roll in Martin's death.

But his mother, Gina Jones, says nothing will change their belief that sheriff's deputies ultimately took their son's life.

“My baby was murdered in the boot camp - why they won't come on and tell the truth we don't know. The world opinion was cold-blooded.”

The family also says nothing will change their opinion that Florida should shut down its remaining boot camps so no other family will have to go through their pain.

Gov. Jeb Bush has assigned an independent prosecutor, Hillsborough County State Attorney Mark Ober, to review Martin Anderson's death. The U.S. Justice Department is also investigating.

The more than half-dozen deputies involved in the incident remain on the job in Bay County.


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