FIRST ON 3: Autopsy confirms Hewett died of heart condition

WILMINGTON, NC (WWAY) — An autopsy report confirms that former Brunswick County Sheriff Ron Hewett died as the result of a heart condition, but Hewett’s lifestyle and what happened in his final hours were also factors.

The report released today by the Office of the Chief Medical Examiner says Hewett’s cause of death was “‘dilated cardiomyopathy’ with the contributing factors of ‘stress of subdual’ and ‘chronic alcohol use.'”

Hewett died in the New Hanover County Jail July 12. Hewett was in jail after he was arrested a few days earlier for allegedly violating his federal probation.

Hewett died shortly after a fight with jail guards during which guards used a Taser on Hewett. The autopsy report, though, says multiple studies have shows that sudden cardiac death due to Taser use “is extraordinarily unlikely” and possible under very specific physical conditions. Such a death due to a Taser “would be immediate, not delayed by a number of minutes, as happened in this case,” the report says.

The report also rules out “positional asphyxia,” which would have suggested Hewett died as a result of being hog-tied after his fight with guards. It also rules out excited delirium.

The report described several injuries to Hewett, but they are attributed to the subdual attempts and resuscitative efforts.

Categories: Brunswick

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *