FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Contact: David Aylor
Attorney David Aylor Issues Statement on behalf of Alicia Stepp:
Aylor Claims Coroner Wooten Violated Client’s Legal Rights
Charleston, South Carolina – October 9, 2012 – As a former criminal prosecutor for the Ninth Circuit Solicitors Office, I’m deeply concerned about Coroner Rae Wooten’s inquest into the death of Ginny Hughes.
The primary objective of a coroner’s inquest is to determine a cause death. A coroner can empanel a jury and present evidence as to determine whether the death was by murder, accidental, a suicide, natural or undetermined. My client, Alicia Stepp did not have the benefit of legal counsel during the inquest, nor was there a criminal prosecutor present ensuring due process of law. Ms. Stepp was never informed of her rights during the inquest, as any citizen should be under the United States Constitution.
When I was a prosecutor, we worked with trained law enforcement investigators and followed leads until we had all the facts of the case. Ms. Wooten’s intervention in this case may have prevented a thorough investigation by trained police investigators and a thorough review by the Solicitor’s Office.
Ms. Wooten meets the minimum legal standard of the requirement to be a coroner, but she is neither a police detective, nor an attorney and she is not a medical doctor. In this case, Ms. Wooten played prosecutor, police investigator and judge.