You would think it isn’t too hard to tell the difference between carbon monoxide inhalation and gunshot wounds to the head, but for one Pocatello doctor, it’s apparently not so easy.
The Idaho Board of Medicine cited that as one of 10 incidents of botched autopsies performed by Pocatello’s Dr. Steve M. Skoumal. The shooting/carbon monoxide inhalation case was from the 2006 Rexburg house fire in which Marc and Amanda Bell, as well as their 3-year-old son Dylan, were found dead. It wasn’t the only high-profile case he botched.
The Idaho Statesmen revealed that another big case is included in the allegation: the 2006 murder of Pocatello High School student Cassie Jo Stoddart.
The Cassie Jo Stoddart case is an especially big deal. She was only 16 when she was stabbed to death, apparently by Brian Draper and Torey Adamcik, who are currently serving life sentences for the murder.
Adamcik unsuccessfully appealed the case to the Idaho Supreme Court, where lawyers argued that the state failed to prove which of the wounds were fatal, as Skoumal testified that only 12 were “potentially fatal.” The state board said he was unable to identify the length or size of knives that made stab wounds, and couldn’t interpret wound patterns.
They also took issue with Skoumal’s claim he was a board-certified forensic pathologist. As it turns out, he isn’t one.
Skoumal is of course denying much of this. His lawyer is saying that the complaint is a result of confusion over what exactly Skoumal does. In other words, this is all out of the doctor’s control. Still, people aren’t going to be too happy about this, especially the families of the victims of the crimes.