Judge blasts coroner over destroyed evidence

Dr. Odell Owens
Dr. Odell Owens

CINCINNATI (AP) - An Ohio judge has called the county coroner unqualified after the destruction of trial evidence.

Hamilton County Common Pleas Judge Robert Ruehlman said in a Cincinnati court Thursday that Dr. O'dell Owens was a fertility doctor with no business being coroner.

Owens said it was unfair to criticize him because he is a retired infertility specialist. Attorneys for two men accused of getting a woman drunk or giving her a drug before raping her in 2009 requested a blood specimen be re-analyzed.

They said the woman was taking medication that could have acted in a fashion similar to an intoxicant. The coroner's toxicologist testified rape-case blood specimens are destroyed after six months unless someone requests they be kept. Owens says the policy was set before he became coroner.

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