FAIRFIELD — The scope of the investigations into the Solano County Sheriff’s-Coroner’s Office became more clear Monday with an attorney for the doctor at the center of the investigations revealing as many as 37 autopsies may be called into question.
The revelations about the abrupt departure of Dr. Susan Hogan came at a hearing for accused child-killer Anthony L. Jones, who is accused of raping and strangling a 13-year-girl before dumping her nude body in Allan Witt Park in February 2013.
Although the case is nearly a year old, no dates for a probable cause hearing have been scheduled and won’t be scheduled until Jones’ next court appearance Feb. 25.
Jones has pleaded not guilty to a murder charge with three special circumstances, making him eligible for the death penalty.
A few days after Hogan’s autopsy on the young victim, Genelle Renee Conway-Allen, she sent a graphic email to the prosecutor saying “just between you and me” the girl’s strangulation death may have occurred accidentally during consensual sex. It was not until seven months after Jones’ arrest that the prosecutor shared the email with Jones’ pair of defense attorneys from the Public Defender’s Office.
Prosecutors acknowledged during Monday’s hearing that Hogan had been the subject of a months-long internal affairs investigation.
Sheriff’s officials have said Hogan retired in December. Hogan, in another email sent to prosecutors earlier this month, said she would rather go to jail than testify in court and disputed the circumstances surrounding the end of her employment. Hogan says she was screamed at by a senior member of the Sheriff’s Office staff before she was escorted from the building by two sheriff’s deputies who she says had their hands on their guns.
Defense attorneys in recent weeks, in more than 20 pending criminal cases in which Hogan conducted autopsies, have asked Sheriff’s Office officials for all documents about her employment.
Judge E. Bradley Nelson, during the hearing in Jones’ case, rejected a request by the defense team to throw out the case over what they call “outrageous” conduct by prosecutors. Nelson questioned how the late sharing of the emails hurt the defense team since the case had not even reached the level of the probable cause hearing.
“We have strong suspicions there is something else out there,” one of the defense attorneys said of the controversy, adding that they had lost all trust in the District Attorney’s Office.
Nelson also ruled that defense attorneys could call Hogan as a witness at the probable cause hearing. He asked for and received from county lawyers more than 1,000 pages of documents relating to Hogan and said he would review them before Jones’ next hearing.
Reach Jess Sullivan at 427-6919 or firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow him on Twitter at www.twitter.com/jsullivandr.