Bobbi Kristina Brown’s Autopsy Report To Be Unsealed And Made Public, Judge Rules
This afternoon, a judge at Fulton County Superior Court in Georgia has granted a media request to unseal the autopsy records of the late Bobbi Kristina Brown, after media outlet WXIA-TV argued that keeping Bobbi Kristina’s autopsy records sealed is a breach of the public’s First Amendment rights.
The New York Daily News reports that lawyers for the media outlet have referenced potential heroin use on Bobbi Kristina’s part — something a former roommate of Brown’s alleged that she had knowledge of — and argued that the public has a First Amendment right to know if Bobbi Kristina had any traces of heroin in her system at the time of her death.
In October of 2015, just three months after Bobbi Kristina died in hospice care, Danyela Bradley, a former roommate of Brown’s, gave a deposition alleging that the only daughter of the late Whitney Houston and Bobby Brown was a regular drug user. During the time that they lived together, Bradley claimed she regularly saw Bobbi Kristina smoking marijuana and stated that Brown had used heroin as well, although she admitted to never having seen the latter.
“She smoked marijuana, she probably smoked crack often, and also did heroin. When I was living with her, she had done it maybe, like, not often, like every two weeks or so.”
Last August, the conservator for Bobbi Kristina’s estate filed a wrongful death lawsuit against Bobbi’s boyfriend, Nick Gordon, accusing him of doping her with a “toxic cocktail” and leaving her for dead in the bathtub in which she was ultimately found. Although Gordon’s lawyers have called the suit “slanderous and meritless,” prosecutors are using the ongoing criminal investigation against Gordon to try and appeal the unsealing of Bobbi Kristina’s autopsy records.
State officials say they are still “actively pursuing leads” and that if Bobbi Kristina’s autopsy records are unsealed, they could reveal sensitive information not yet known to the public and could potentially put people and the ongoing investigation at risk, according to Reuters. Judge Henry M. Newkirk, of Fulton County Superior Court, however, believes that officials have had long enough to make a case against Bobbi Kristina’s boyfriend and that the unsealing of her autopsy records is of no consequence to their case at this time.
“You’ve had 18 months,” Judge Newkirk said in court on Thursday.
RT @Jeremy11alive We won! Court orders autopsy for #BobbiKristina unsealed after WXIA… https://t.co/rYXygmPuE9 pic.twitter.com/me7HuAzFBu
— 11Alive News (@11AliveNews) March 3, 2016
On January 31, 2015, Nick Gordon found Bobbi Kristina face down and unresponsive, but alive, in the bathtub of her Georgia home. She was placed in a medically induced coma after doctors determined that Bobbi Kristina had minimal brain function. After being moved to several different hospitals and being seen by numerous specialists at the behest of her father, Bobbi Kristina was ultimately moved into hospice care at Peachtree Christian Hospice in Duluth, Georgia, on June 24. Bobbi Kristina died on July 26, 2015, while still in hospice care. Although the initial autopsy reported no obvious cause of death or significant injuries, Fulton County Medical Examiner’s office said that more testing still needed to be done to determine a cause of death.
In September of 2015, the medical examiner’s office announced that it had determined the cause of Bobbi Kristina’s death but, due to a Superior Court order, could not publicly release the information.
Judge Newkirk is expected to sign the unsealing order to publicly release Bobbi Kristina’s autopsy report in the next day or two, although the state plans to appeal the decision again, hoping to keep the information under wraps while state officials continue to investigate Nick Gordon. Gordon continues to deny playing any role in the death of Bobbi Kristina Brown.
[Photo by Dan Steinberg/File/AP]