TARGET 8 FOLLOW-UP: Father's latest push for coroner training bill

2 months 1 week 6 days ago Tuesday, January 21 2020 Jan 21, 2020 Tuesday, January 21, 2020 3:29:00 PM CST January 21, 2020 in Continuous News
By: Morgan Riddell, KOMU 8 Reporter
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JEFFERSON CITY - Tuesday marks what Jay Minor is hoping will be the first day of his last legislative session. Minor is fighting for justice for his son, Jayke Minor, who died in 2011. 

A 2018 KOMU Target 8 Investigation detailed a flawed autopsy from the Howard County Coroner, who ruled his cause of death to be a drug overdose solely due to Jayke's history. The new bill will update training requirements. 

The autopsy is not able to be redone and the family now knows the blood tested for Jayke only contained levels of THC. 

Minor began his journey two years after the confusion began.

"We're trying to get a bill passed to make sure this doesn't ever happen again to other families," Minor said. 

This is Minor's third legislative session working on what's now House Bill 1435. The bill almost passed in the 2019 session, but one amendment that was added right before Gov. Parson's signature, caused the bill to go unsigned. Minor said the amendment had nothing to do with the goal of the original bill.

"It was a little heartbreaking last year when we got right to the finish line and didn't quiet cross it," Minor said. 

He remains hopeful for the year and is sharing his story to people to make a change his family has been waiting for. 

"You pour your heart and soul out. And relive all the terrible memories of everything that's happened. But I know that's part of what I have to do to get this done," Minor said. 

Willie Harlow, the Saline County Coroner, has been working with Minor on the bill.

"I came today to support of the Jayke Minor act, a bill we've worked on for four years," Harlow said. "After listening and seeing all the evidence he had of how things went, we realized that it was time for change and the only way to make the change was through legislation."

Harlow said he has not seen any updates in his line of work for way too long now. 

"Most statutes are over 80 years old. When it comes to salary, training, or technology. We've just been kind of left behind," he said. 

Minor and Harlow are here now, ready for the change. 

"We're not going to give up this fight. Before all is said and done the Jayke Minor act will be passed," said Harlow.

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