Controversial Lake County death reclassified as homicide
SUN-TIMES MEDIA January 22, 2013 11:34AM
Updated: January 22, 2013 10:47PM
The death of a man who was allegedly beaten while in North Chicago Police custody has been reclassified as a homicide, the Lake County coroner announced Tuesday.
Darrin Hanna, 45, died at a hospital a week after the alleged beating in November 2011. In March 2012, Hanna’s manner of death was rule “undetermined.”
Hanna, 45, was arrested Nov. 6, 2011, after police responded to a call of a domestic disturbance at his apartment. Witnesses claim he was brought out on a stretcher 20 minutes later with a sheet covering his face. Relatives and others claim he was beaten and Tasered by police.
He was taken to Vista Medical Center East, where he died a week later.
At the time of Hanna’s autopsy, then-Coroner Artis Yancey blamed a “combination of complications” for the death including: “Acute and chronic cocaine abuse, physical trauma and restraint, Taser restraint, poorly controlled hypertension and chronic renal insufficiency.”
Hanna’s mother, Gloria Carr, and his son, DeLorean McKinney, have a filed a wrongful death in federal court, arguing that a beating inflicted by police led to Hanna’s death.
Yancey was defeated in he March 2012 Democratic Primary. His opponent, Dr. Thomas Rudd, announced the re-classification Tuesday after obtaining new information, reviewing the evidence and consulting with forensic science experts.
“Homicide occurs when a person’s death results from a volitional act committed by another person to cause fear, harm, or death,” Rudd added. “Intent to cause death is a common element, but is not required for classification as a homicide.
“It must be emphasized that the classification of homicide for the purposes of death investigation is a neutral term and neither indicates nor implies criminal intent, which remains within the province of legal processes,” the coroner said.