After numerous outcries and marches by family members, friends, and supporters of Shawn Warner, the government has offered to step forward in a major way.
A proposal by Cabinet will see another autopsy being conducted at the government’s expense. This would, of course, further delay the funeral arrangements for Warner, who was allegedly electrocuted in November 2018 when he came into contact with an electrified installation at Jolly Harbour.
The Government’s Chief of Staff, Lionel “Max” Hurst, made the revelation to OBSERVER media, saying he believes this move will bring some sort of closure for the family.
“We are going to meet the cost of having a pathologist come to Antigua to conduct another postmortem to see if it can be determined, once [and] for all, if he died from electrocution. We think an additional postmortem by another pathologist can determine this.
“Since the mother has indicated that she’s not quite satisfied with the results that have been provided, it is the Cabinet’s determination that assistance to the parents might help her out with closure on this tragedy,”
Hurst said on Thursday. Warner’s body was turned over to the family earlier this week, hours after an emotional Facebook video was posted by his sister, Natasha James, seeking answers from the police.
The autopsy conducted on Warner was deemed inconclusive and, according to the Cabinet notes dated January 16th, the report “certainly did not conclude that he died . . . of electrocution”.
Hurst stressed that the government was by no means trying to belittle the work of the previous pathologist, but the action was a way of bringing some relief to the family. “We are not suggesting that the doctor that did the post-mortem in the first instance is wrong. It is just that we believe . . . a second pair of eyes would be helpful,” he said.
Warner’s family has accused Caribbean Development (Antigua) Limited (CDAL), the owners of Jolly Harbor, of leaving electrical wires exposed on a lamppost which was under repair earlier that day when Warner met his tragic death. The company has denied the accusation.