LUBBOCK, Texas — It’s been around 2 years since the last autopsies were performed in Lubbock.
“As part of Lubbock County, we are doing very well. We do not have a problem,” said Dr. Charles Addington, the Lubbock County Medical Examiner. “Our cases are being handled and they are being handled effectively and efficiently.”
All cases are currently being sent to Tarrant County instead of being done in Lubbock.
“There’s always a scuttlebut that people want to talk about, but when it comes to this office and our relationship I think it’s gotten much better in the last year,” said Addington.
The ME’s office said the reason autopsies are not currently being done in Lubbock County is because of a shortage of forensic pathologists.
Dr. Addington is a medical examiner, meaning he handles the cases and can investigate deaths, but it’s a forensic pathologist who actually does the autopsy.
The ME before Addington hoped to leave the position to a forensic pathologist, but in order to fill the position quickly, the county hired Addington.
“They should understand that if I’m leading it, that we are going to be above board and honest that we are going to be moral,” Addington said. “That we are going to be ethical and we are not going to cut corners. And we haven’t cut corners.”
Both medical examiners and the District Attorney’s office have said Lubbock’s relationship with Tarrant County has been seamless.
“At this point in time we have been nothing but pleased but we will continue to monitor that situation when and if a change is ever necessary,” said Assistant Criminal District Attorney Neal Burt.
Addington does have plans to bring autopsies back to Lubbock.
“You should have 1, 3, 5 and 10 year goals, and I have those,” he said. “[Do] I think that is going to be immediate? No. Do I think that down the line that could be a possibility? Absolutely.”
But as for now is focused on keeping track of the cases he does have and keeping the bond with Tarrant County strong.
“Our job is to do best by the decedent, take care of the paperwork, take care of the cases, and take care of the family,” said Addington.
Addington said he’s going to speak with the City Council sometime in July and discuss with them his long term plans for the ME’s office.