A man was indicted on a murder charge stemming from a 2013 robbery incident in which he allegedly repeatedly kicked the robbery victim in the groin. One of Willie Cannon’s testicles ruptured, which in turn caused a serious infection that led to sepsis and gangrene, or total death of the testicle, and then sent the victim into septic shock from infection. He did not recover and died.
The indictment was handed down this week for a murder charge against Jackie Pierce of Cleveland, Ohio, in the robbery that led to Cannon’s death. The grand jury in Cuyahoga County, Ohio, on Tuesday indicted Pierce, 58, on two counts of murder, as well as felonious assault and robbery. Pierce was not currently in prison and no attorney information was provided by court documents, according to the Washington Post.
The incident occurred on May 11, 2013, as Cannon was attending a birthday party for his niece. During this time Pierce allegedly demanded money from Cannon, who initially refused. It is unknown if Pierce was an invited guest at the party or how he encountered Cannon. According to police, when Cannon did not give Pierce any cash, Pierce began to kick Cannon in the groin repeatedly, apparently aiming for his testicles, until Cannon was unable to defend himself and Pierce removed the money from Cannon’s pocket himself. Police wrote in documents submitted to the court that the encounter incapacitated Cannon.
“…repeatedly kicked the victim in the groin, then removed money from the victim’s pocket.”
It is unknown if Cannon received medical help initially, although testicular rupture is extremely painful. Cannon became progressively sicker over the course of the next month because he developed sepsis, a condition in which an infection overwhelms the body’s defenses and eventually causes a life-threatening instability in blood pressure and heartrate which then often leads to death. That’s what happened to Cannon when his testicle ruptured — blood supply was lost which resulted in death of the testicle, leading to an infection that entered and overwhelmed his bloodstream. Sepsis can be treated with intravenous antibiotics if caught early, but often, as in Cannon’s case, the condition can cause death.
The Cuyahoga county prosecutor’s office said that it “was not that unusual” for a case like this to take nearly three years to see an indictment. Spokesman Joseph Frolik said it took that long to identify the suspect.
“It took until recently for detectives to put together the puzzle pieces and identify the suspect.”
It is not known how Pierce was identified, but he is not in police custody at this time. He is scheduled to appear in court on April 27.
Cannon died on June 8, 2013, after the series of complications from the ruptured testicle, and while Pierce was initially a suspect, his whereabouts were not known to police until recently.
Sepsis is a common cause of death in the United States, although sepsis from testicular rupture is exceedingly rare. Most sepsis cases are caused by open wounds or a faltering immune system, and sepsis frequently occurs in critically ill patients who are hospitalized. However, sepsis can begin from appendicitis or even an infected cavity in a tooth.
Photo by Daniel Berehulak/Getty Images