Its been just over a year since I was in Pauls Valley Oklahoma with the families of the Justice For The Dead site. A group whom came together for one sole purpose, to reform the Oklahoma Medical Examiner's Office headed up by attorney Jaye Mendros.
This past week the Chanda Turner Reform Act went into law. Families will now have the opportunity to appeal their loved ones' death certificates. Numerous cases across the State in which the Medical Examiners Office rubber stamped death certificates as suicides, many without autopsies or proper testing. Some of their actions were political corrupt. Contaminated and even manufactured crime scene's appeared in the majority of the cases.
One of many disturbing, still unsolved cases to benefit from the new law is the intimate partner homicide of Sheila Deviney 30, who died on January 6, 2004, when her mobile home, located about one mile east and one mile south of Maysville, Oklahoma, burned to the ground. She was murdered. It should be no surprise that Sheila had been married to an abusive, controlling man. They had a court date over past-due child support scheduled the next day. According to eye witnesses, her ex-husband was at the home, although by law not allowed on the premises. He and others according to recorded, notarized and sworn affidavit statements I have in a secure location from eye witnesses attest to certain individuals leaving Sheila's property as flames jumped into the sky. Witnesses say those person's allegedly destroyed evidence and took items from the home.
Since the murder of Sheila, her parents Dave and Susan Deviney have worked along side the other families seeking justice. Sheila's case has more twists and turns than a tornado.
Tissues sample's from the fire need to remain in tact and not destroyed as threatened by the Medical Examiners office within the next few months. This is the only tangible evidence. Law enforcement allowed a suspect to destroy physical evidence within days of the massive fire that took Sheila's life.
Is it a coincidence that the spokesperson for the Medical Examiner's office, Cherokee Ballard resigned on the very day this law went into affect?
To read more on the amazing justice for families read: New Law: Cowboys, Indians and the Oklahoma Medical Examiner's Office.