Turks and Caicos Islands jury rejects bid to reclassify New York woman’s strangulation at Club Med as an accident

Advertisement

[ad_1]

NEWYou can now listen to Fox News articles!

A Turks and Caicos jury has rejected an attempt to reclassify the cause and manner of death in the 2018 strangulation of a New York lawyer staying at Club Med Turkoise with friends.

The inquest was a legal proceeding to re-examine the medical examiner’s original finding that Kuhnla had been choked to death by hand. His family’s New York lawyer, Abe George, warned that the government and the station colluded to rule his death an accident to avoid liability.

“It’s a small step, but it’s a win for us,” Rick Kuhnla Jr., Kuhnla’s son, told Fox News Digital after the jury released its decision. “We hope this puts pressure on the police department to make an arrest, as their own justice system rejected their claim that his death was accidental.”

Marie Kuhnla and her family in an undated photo.
Advertisement

Marie Kuhnla and her family in an undated photo.
(Kuhnla family)

HUSBAND OF WOMAN KILLED IN NYC, FEARED SON COVERED IN CLUB MED DEATH

Kuhnla Jr., his father and their supporters had warned they suspected an attempted cover-up by Turks and Caicos Islands police and Club Med, who they said teamed up to challenge the designation and cross-examine witnesses during the investigation.

Marie Kuhnla and her family in an undated photo.  From left to right: Rick Kuhnla Jr., Rick Kuhnla Sr. and Marie Kuhnla.

Marie Kuhnla and her family in an undated photo. From left to right: Rick Kuhnla Jr., Rick Kuhnla Sr. and Marie Kuhnla.
(Courtesy of the Kuhnla family)

Dr Michael Steckbauer, the medical examiner, ruled her death a homicide by manual strangulation shortly after her remains were found in a bush in a remote part of the resort town on October 16, 2018. He defended his findings during of the investigation against the scrutiny of lawyers for the government and the station.

A screenshot of Kuhnla's death certificate in the Turks and Caicos Islands.

A screenshot of Kuhnla’s death certificate in the Turks and Caicos Islands.
(Nassau County Clerk)

A Turks and Caicos investigator visited Kuhnla’s widower, Rick Kuhnla Sr., in 2019 and raised the possibility that his wife’s death was an accident, according to George, the attorney. The family dismissed this theory – citing Steckbauer’s findings and other evidence that Ed Dowd, a private detective, had uncovered.

Trevor Botting, the islands’ police commissioner, accused the media of sensationalising the case in a statement on Tuesday evening and claimed such inquiries were routine. He said it was inaccurate to describe the investigation as an “examination” of an earlier discovery.

“In the Turks and Caicos Islands, as in the UK, it is customary and good practice for an inquest to be held either at the end of a murder investigation or when an inquest has exhausted all avenues of investigation. ‘investigation or any related criminal investigation. court proceedings are over,” he said. “Otherwise, any police investigation or fair criminal trial risks being compromised by a premature investigation, potentially depriving justice for the deceased and his relatives.

But George disputed this characterization.

He argued that such investigations are actually rare and told Fox News Digital last week that the next most recent case occurred after a family died in a mysterious yacht fire years ago. .

“Crazy,” he said. “Nothing routine about this procedure.”

Marie Kuhnla poses in an undated photo.

Marie Kuhnla poses in an undated photo.
(Marie Kuhnla)

The proceedings also revealed previously undisclosed evidence in the case, including DNA test results that found seminal fluid on Kuhnla’s underwear and described blood found on her clothes and body.

DNA test results, dated December 7, 2018, were not released until Friday, according to George, who is representing the family in a wrongful death lawsuit in the United States. They were based on samples taken between the discovery of his remains on October 16 of that year and October 20, when police collected evidence from a man’s bedroom at the compound.

Turks and Caicos Islands police have launched a murder investigation after American tourist Marie Kuhnla was found dead in the bushes near a resort.

Turks and Caicos Islands police have launched a murder investigation after American tourist Marie Kuhnla was found dead in the bushes near a resort.
(Royal Turks and Caicos Islands Police Force)

CLICK HERE TO GET THE FOX NEWS APP

That guest, Frank Yacullo Jr., was with Kuhnla when she was last seen and named alongside Club Med in a wrongful death lawsuit filed in Nassau County, New York. But DNA results did not link him to his death and police did not name him a suspect.

DNA analysis found semen on Kuhnla’s underwear and male DNA on his bedroom door, but not enough for a match, according to court documents.

“While no one has been charged in connection with Ms Kuhnla’s death, no investigation is ever closed, and if further lines of inquiry are identified, they will be pursued vigorously,” Botting wrote Tuesday evening. “Of course, we will examine whether new information has come to light as a result of the investigation.”



[ad_2]

You Can Read Also

World News

Advertisement

malek

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.