Independent autopsy ordered in Ottumwa woman’s death

Judge Myron Gookin has granted Gregory Allen Showalter Sr. an independent autopsy.  Showalter has been charged in the murder of his wife, Helen Showalter.  Defendant Showalter’s attorney, Bob Breckenridge, petitioned the court in August to preserve Helen Showalter’s body after the State Medical Examiner’s Office completed its examination of her remains. Showalter’s request for the independent autopsy was unopposed by prosecutors.

Helen Showalter’s body was transported to Urbana, Illinois, so that it could be examined on Wednesday.  Showalter’s defense has reportedly retained Dr. Shiping Boa, the same forensic pathologist that examined Trayvon Martin’s body in the George Zimmerman case in Florida, to perform the independent autopsy.  Bao was criticized after changing a conclusion contained in his report during his testimony in that 2013 trial and was subsequently fired according to a report in the Daytona Beach News Journal.

According to Court documents, upon completion of the independent examination, Showalter’s body will be returned to Iowa and released to the next of kin to carry out arrangements.

Gregory Showalter, who is charged with first degree murder in his wife’s death, faces a mandatory sentence of life without parole, if convicted.


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