Chavis Carter Death Ruled Suicide

The results of an autopsy performed on the 21-year-old man from Arkansas concluded that he died from a self-inflicted gunshot wound to the head.

Posted: 08/21/2012 08:16 AM EDT
Chavis Carter

(Photo: ABC News)

Final results of an autopsy performed on Chavis Carter, the 21-year-old Arkansas man who was shot while handcuffed in the back of a police car, show that he committed suicide.

According to the report, Carter’s July 28 death was caused by a bullet that entered his skull four inches from the top of his head, near his right temple.

"At the time of discharge, the muzzle of the gun was placed against the right temporal scalp," wrote Deputy Chief Medical Examiner Stephen A. Erickson.

Toxicology reports also determined that Carter had anti-anxiety medication, methamphetamine and other drugs in his system at the time of his death.


Debate and anger over Carter’s death has been swirling since the details surrounding his death made national news.

Carter was picked up by police last month when officers stopped a truck in which Carter was riding after receiving a report of a suspicious vehicle. Carter was arrested after officers discovered his outstanding arrest warrant related to a drug charge in Mississippi. The officers say they frisked and handcuffed Carter before placing him in the back seat of the police cruiser where he died of a gunshot wound to the head.

After Carter’s death, the officers said they must have missed the handgun Carter had concealed on his body. Despite the new report, many still reject the validity of the police department’s initial report that Carter committed suicide given that he was handcuffed and the officers claim to have frisked him.

Last week, the Jonesboro Police Department released a video re-enacting what may have happened to Carter in an attempt to show that suicide was logistically possible given the way Carter was positioned in the vehicle.

BET National News - Keep up to date with breaking news stories from around the nation, including headlines from the hip hop and entertainment world. Click here to subscribe to our newsletter.

Videos You May Like

From Our Partners