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State law change creates problems for victims’ families

Oct 22, 2010 4:43:00 PM - thestate.com

The family of a 53-year-old DUI victim has been denied a cremation permit because of a recent law change concerning the preservation of DNA evidence in criminal cases.

Funeral services for Debora Walker were yesterday. She was scheduled to be cremated today, according to her wishes, but Richland County Coroner Gary Watts denied the request based on the state Attorney General’s interpretation of the 2008 “Preservation of Evidence Act.”

“A coroner should not issue a permit authorizing a cremation in the case of a deceased individual that is linked to an offense included in the list of offenses set forth in the (Preservation of Evidence Act),” the opinion said. “If a cremation were to occur, the mandate for preservation of evidence set forth in (the act) could not be accommodated.”

Now Jamaal Walker, the second eldest son of Debora Walker, said he can’t honor his mother’s final wishes. And he’s stuck with paying the cost for a burial.

USA, South Carolina: (Latest Stories)