The widow of a former crime lab employee of the San Diego Police Department recently filed a wrongful death lawsuit against the agency, alleging other homicide detectives drove her husband to ultimately commit suicide. Her husband, a man named Kevin Brown, reportedly took his own life this past fall when detectives were preparing to arrest him in a cold murder case of a teenage girl.
In 2012, Brown became a suspect for the murder of a 14-year-old girl on Torrey Pines State Beach, an incident that happened 18 years prior. According to Brown’s wife, SDPD crime lab officials contaminated samples, making it look like Brown’s DNA matched samples taken at the crime scene years ago. In the 1980s, his wife argues, it was common for lab technicians to use their own DNA to check the efficacy of the tests, which would explain why his DNA showed up on more recent tests.
Additionally, the wrongful death lawsuit claims a specific homicide detective from the SDPD made a number of false statements to obtain search warrants as a means of pinning the crime on Mr. Brown.
Family members of deceased people who committed suicide may choose to file wrongful death claims if they are able to prove the suicide was encouraged or somehow caused by someone else’s actions. In this case, Ms. Brown and her attorneys could argue the pressure of potentially being arrested and charged for a murder he did not commit led to his suicide, and that the SDPD is at least partially liable for his death.
For more information on if you should file a wrongful death lawsuit after the death of a loved one, meet with a skilled San Diego attorney at Thorsnes Bartolotta McGuire.