Marvin Scott III died while in custody at the Collin County Jail on Sunday, March 14 and questions linger about what occurred. From activists to the family’s attorney, Lee Merritt, members of the community have called for law enforcement to answer their most pressing question: how did Marvin die?
Now, following an independent autopsy, paid for by the Scott family, Merritt claims they have some answers.
The family of Marvin Scott had an independent autopsy performed by the American Forensics of Mesquite. According to a Facebook post with a video from NBC 5 by Merritt, their report found that Marvin’s death was likely caused by restraint and asphyxiation.
However, Merritt noted in the post that the final results are still pending while they wait for the toxicology report. At a Tuesday press conference, Marvin’s family brought forensic pathologist Dr. Amy Gruszcki to explain the results of the autopsy.
“So the physical struggle of the restraint, as well as the possible asphyxiation from the restraint would likely be causes of his death,” Gruszcki said. “And a negative autopsy — meaning no injuries, no blunt-force trauma — is consistent with that.”
On the day he died, Marvin had been arrested for possession of less than two ounces of marijuana while at an outlet mall in Allen.
Officers took Marvin into custody at 6:22 p.m. that day, Collin County Sheriff Jim Skinner said at a press conference on Friday. Skinner said Marvin started exhibiting “some strange behavior.” Allen Police took Marvin to the hospital where he was cleared by doctors and then brought him to the jail.
Marvin’s friends and family said he had diagnosed schizophrenia.
Detention officers tried to secure him to a restraint bed. They used pepper spray and put a spit mask over his face. While being put on the restraint bed, he became unresponsive. He was immediately rushed to Baylor Scott & White in McKinney where he was pronounced dead. Texas Rangers are still investigating.
However, Marvin’s mom, Lasandra Scott, detailed information she got from authorities about her son’s death at the press conference.
“He was placed in a restraint chair for 11 minutes then moved to a restraint bed after being sprayed with mace,” Lasandra said. “A knee was placed on his arm and a pressure-point tactic was performed under his chin.”
Last week, Leigh Ann Nolen from the Collin County Medical Examiner’s Office told Local Profile that Marvin Scott’s autopsy report is not complete yet and to check back in 8-10 weeks.
“We want to know how did my son die,” Lasandra said. “We want answers.”