An Illinois lottery winner’s death has been ruled a homicide, and authorities are now investigating the man’s suspicious death. Initially, his death was thought to be by natural causes. However, a relative contacted authorities and asked them to look further into the case. When they did, authorities say they discovered the man died of cyanide poisoning. Now the case has taken a different turn, and it is entirely possible someone could be facing a felony charge.
There was no autopsy conducted on the body because the death didn’t appear to be suspicious. Toxicology tests performed showed no illegal drugs or carbon monoxide, and the death was ultimately ruled to be caused by problems with his arteries. Once additional drug testing was conducted and the cyanide was found, authorities opened a homicide investigation.
The man had purchased a lottery ticket before his death and reportedly won a million dollars. He planned to donate a portion of the winnings and use some of it for his dry cleaning business. Sadly, he died the day after he received a $425,000 check. The investigation has not led to a felony charge yet, but as it progresses, someone may eventually be facing an uphill legal battle.
This particular case is shrouded in mystery because of the circumstances surrounding the lottery win and his untimely death. If Illinois authorities ultimately arrest someone and file a felony charge against them, the person accused has every right to challenge evidence offered in support of the accusations. There is a substantial difference between an allegation of criminal conduct and a criminal conviction, and our laws contain safeguards to protect the legal rights of accused individuals as they fight to clear their names.
Source: Yahoo.com, “Chicago lottery winner’s death ruled a homicide,” Jason Keyser, Jan. 7, 2013