Crime

Mile High Murder, No. 18: Morrail Bell died of a gunshot wound, not of being run over by a police car


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On June 23, the Denver Coroner's Office identified Morrail Bell as the man who died in a June 21 shooting at 12565 E. Albrook Drive, in an area captured in the graphic above (if you have problems seeing the image, click "View Larger Map"). Subsequently, the office issued an unusual follow-up release reiterating something it had already stated -- that Bell had died due to a gunshot wound to the chest.

Why? According to the Denver Post, Carmen Swindall, Bell's ex-girlfriend, "said a witness saw an unmarked police car run him over as he lay in the parking lot after being shot in a gunfight with the other man." Denver coroner personnel say the witness was wrong: There's no sign of Bell having been run over by a vehicle, patrol car or otherwise, let alone that such an incident killed him. The bullet did the job.

Look below to read the amended DCO release:

On June 21, 2009, the Denver Office of the Medical Examiner was notified of a death in the parking lot of 12585 E. Albrook Drive, Denver Colorado.

Mr. Morrail Bell (33/B/M) died at 1:11 A.M., 06-21-09. This office completed an autopsy and the cause of death is gunshot wound to the chest. The manner of death is homicide.

This office saw no evidence or injuries that are consistent with being run over or struck by a vehicle.

All questions regarding the investigation should be referred to the Denver Police Department.

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Michael Roberts has written for Westword since October 1990, serving stints as music editor and media columnist. He currently covers everything from breaking news and politics to sports and stories that defy categorization.
Contact: Michael Roberts