Police, Sheriff's investigators react to Motley autopsy
The autopsy of Steven Motley is complete.
That is the latest information released in the case of the 33-year-old Redding man who ran from police and died three days after the ensuing struggle.
"I believe he was running for his life in fear. Wouldn't you do the same thing? Wouldn't you try to get out there if they were going to kill you," said Carol Adams, Motley’s mother, on October 11.
But new information released Wednesday shows a different story.
According to a Shasta County Sheriff’s Office press release, Motley died of “cardiopulmonary arrest during a violent struggle with police in an individual under the influence of methamphetamine.”
The autopsy was performed Oct. 10 by the Yolo County Coroner.
The document also states, “Motley had toxic levels of methamphetamine in his system (methamphetamine intoxication) which also contributed to his cause of death.”
"There's been some very egregious accusations made against my officers. To see that the cause of death is a heart attack from methamphetamine use rather than what's been reported lately is obviously good to hear for me," said Redding Police Chief Robert Paoletti.
Motley suffered numerous injuries in the chase and struggle, but the report denies this was a factor in his death. Investigators said he stole a police cruiser after taking officers on a chase in a stolen pick-up truck.
Chief Paoletti said it is a difficult task to realize if Motley is on drugs while in the moments of that chase.
“It's tough when you're in a vehicle pursuit and then a foot pursuit and then a struggle to be able to make those determinations," said Paoletti.
The independent investigation into this case is being handled by the Shasta County Sheriff’s Office. Their search for concrete information is not over.
"We have nothing to gain in this. We're trying to get the facts, and nothing but the facts, and then present them to the District Attorney," said Shasta County Sheriff’s Captain John Hubbard. "Because of getting the preliminary report from the autopsy, that gives us some of the injuries but the other reports might be able to shed light on that.”
"I know there's some frustration with how long that takes,” said Paoletti. “Believe me, I'm at the top of that list of frustration. But I also have to be patient and that's what I've been asking the community to do, is be patient to get all the facts and don't jump to conclusions before you have them."
According to Captain Hubbard, the California Highway Patrol investigators will look into the vehicle side of this incident, including the chase and crash involving the stolen car.
Stay with KRCR News Channel 7 for further developments.
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