Sunday, July 13, 2014

Coroner’s inquest planned in Hazleton area death

July 23. 2013 11:48PM

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WILKES-BARRE — Evidence recovered in a Hazleton man’s death will be presented to a six-member jury during a seldom-used hearing called a coroner’s inquest in an attempt to determine the manner of death.

Matthew Ryan Gailie, 34, was found dead in his Muskegan Circle home in the Eagle Rock gated community near Hazleton from a single gunshot wound on Sept. 3, 2011, state police at Hazleton said. Gailie was an officer for the Pennsylvania Department of Corrections.

State police Lt. Robert Bartel, commander of the criminal investigation unit, said that at the time investigators did not know if Gailie’s death was an accident, suicide or a homicide. Bartel could not be reached for comment on Tuesday.

Forensic pathologist Dr. Gary Ross conducted the autopsy, determining Gailie died from a gunshot wound. The manner of death was listed as undetermined.

The Luzerne County District Attorney’s Office is coordinating the coroner’s inquest scheduled to begin Monday, said acting Coroner Bill Lisman.

Lisman said he could not release details because of the ongoing investigation.

Assistant District Attorney Dan Zola is expected to lead the coroner’s inquest by presenting to the six-member jury witnesses and evidence surrounding the circumstances of Gailie’s death. The panel will be selected from the jury pool reporting for jury duty Monday.

At a coroner’s inquest, the jury listens, asks questions and then rules on a manner of death.

The last coroner’s inquest in Luzerne County was held 17 years ago in the death of a woman in Hazleton.

That inquest in November 1996 ruled that Eugene Gorski was responsible for the drug overdose death of his wife, Deborah, 38, on Aug. 10, 1996. But the finding held no criminal weight.

No charges were filed against Eugene Gorski, a physician.

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