Lawler plans le­gal ac­tion in son’s death

WWE Hall of Famer ques­tions sui­cide

The Commercial Appeal - - Front Page - Ja­son Munz Mem­phis Com­mer­cial Ap­peal USA TO­DAY NET­WORK - TEN­NESSEE

Jerry Lawler has been tired of wait­ing for an­swers for months.

Now, the WWE Hall of Famer and fa­ther of Brian Lawler — who died July 29, 2018, hours after he was found hang­ing in an iso­lated cell at Harde­man County Jail — is tak­ing steps to­ward get­ting some.

Lawler, whose son would have turned 47 on Jan. 10, has long ques­tioned the con­tention that Brian com­mit­ted sui­cide by hang­ing him­self with his shoelaces. But since his son’s death, Lawler has grown in­creas­ingly frus­trated by what he feels has been an ex­ceed­ingly slug­gish in­ves­ti­ga­tion process and a lack of com­mu­ni­ca­tion from au­thor­i­ties.

So, he’s do­ing some­thing about it. Lawler and his at­tor­ney, Jeff Rosen­blum, plan to ask that he be made ad­min­is­tra­tor of Brian’s es­tate in front of a Harde­man County judge on Jan. 29. If the re­quest is ap­proved, Lawler will le­gally be able to is­sue sub­poe­nas to “force peo­ple to talk” and po­ten­tially gain ac­cess to key pieces of ev­i­dence. For ex­am­ple, Lawler and Rosen­blum are anx­ious to see sur­veil­lance cam­era footage from in­side the jail the day Brian was found.

“Ev­ery­thing in­side a jail is sup­posed to be on video,” Lawler told The Com­mer­cial Ap­peal. “They’re say­ing their cam­eras were down that day and not work­ing. With a sub­poena, we can go back and look at their servers and hard drives and find out whether video ac­tu­ally ex­ists or whether it was deleted.”

On Thurs­day, the Ten­nessee Bureau of In­ves­ti­ga­tion said the Brian Lawler case re­mains open and on­go­ing, there-

fore it can not make any pub­lic com­ment on the mat­ter.

“This in­ves­ti­ga­tion has been con­ducted in the same man­ner as we in­ves­ti­gate any case, in that we col­lect ev­i­dence avail­able at the scene and other lo­ca­tions if rel­e­vant, iden­tify and in­ter­view rel­e­vant wit­nesses and other key in­di­vid­u­als, doc­u­ment what­ever in­for­ma­tion is avail­able, etc. We pro­vide find­ings from our in­ves­ti­ga­tions to the re­spec­tive Dis­trict At­tor­ney Gen­eral through­out the in­ves­tiga­tive process,” TBI spokes­woman Su­san Ni­land said in an email to The Com­mer­cial Ap­peal.

“As for the in­ves­ti­ga­tion into the death of Brian Lawler, we are cur­rently await­ing the full au­topsy re­sults from the Med­i­cal Ex­am­iner’s of­fice be­fore our in­ves­tiga­tive file is com­plete to turn over to the (Dis­trict At­tor­ney’s) of­fice.”

Rosen­blum said it is not out of the or­di­nary for an au­topsy re­port to be filed more than six months after a death.

“There is usu­ally a 7 to 8 month gap be­cause we have a back­log in our med­i­cal ex­am­iner’s of­fice. I’ve had other cases where it’s taken al­most a year,” he said. “In the mean­time, we’re not do­ing noth­ing. We’re find­ing other in­mates, get­ting their state­ments. Talk­ing to peo­ple who used to work at the jail and things like that.”


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