Tuesday, July 3, 2018

Bridgette Gentry Marshall's death remains under investigation in Murfreesboro, TN, with no official ruling of suicide and confusion about firearm recovery

Steve and Bridgette Marshall
The death of Bridgette Gentry Marshall remains under investigation and has not officially been ruled a suicide, according to a report at Alabama Political Reporter (APR).

Ms. Marshall, the wife of Alabama Attorney General Steve Marshall, died on June 24 in Murfreesboro, TN, reportedly from a self-inflicted gunshot wound. But the case still is open, with no official finding of suicide and no mention in police reports that a firearm was recovered, reports APR's Josh Moon. From the article:

The investigation into the death of Alabama Attorney General Steve Marshall’s wife remains an open case in Murfreesboro, Tennessee, and police officials there would not answer on Monday whether Bridgette Marshall’s death has officially been ruled a suicide.

Additionally, Murfreesboro Police will not disclose basic details about the firearm used in Marshall’s death, and the official police report omitted any mention of the recovery of the weapon.

What to make of the report's failure to mention that a firearm was recovered? That's hard to figure, and Moon writes:

APR was told by multiple current law enforcement officials who viewed the MPD report that leaving the recovery of the firearm — along with at least a general description of the weapon recovered — off the police report was odd. In light of those statements, APR contacted MPD to inquire about the weapon and why it wasn’t listed on the report.

MPD spokeswoman Officer Amy Norville told APR on Monday that a firearm was recovered by police at the scene, but she said, “we are not releasing the information about it because the investigation is still ongoing.”

When asked to clarify whether MPD had officially listed the cause of death as suicide, Norville responded: “According to the Detective on the case he has not closed the file, so it is still listed as an open investigation.”

How did such confusion enter the picture on the Marshall death? Moon explains:

On that initial report, the first officer on the scene, Eric Deleon, wrote that after discovering Marshall’s body on the couch inside an apartment on Puckett Creek Crossing, he contacted MPD’s Criminal Investigations Division, which took over the scene. Deleon listed “suicide” underneath a section of the report entitled “Description of Offense.”

According to law enforcement sources, that is likely not MPD’s official determination on the case, but was how officers initially viewed the incident. Additional evidence may or may not change that evaluation prior to an official designation.

APR requested to speak with an MPD official, and also asked specifically if the department still viewed Marshall’s death as a suicide, but neither question was answered.

According to the Tennessee Medical Examiner’s Office, an autopsy was performed early last week, but the results will not be available for several weeks.

Steve Marshall, who was appointed by scandal-plagued former Gov. Robert Bentley, faces a July 17 runoff against former AG Troy King. The winner will take on Democrat Joseph Siegelman in the Nov. 6 general election.

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