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Cardinal Bevilacqua, as you might remember, died on Jan. 31 at the age of 88 at Saint Charles Borromeo Seminary. He’d suffered from cancer and dementia. Reportedly, the investigation is at the request of Montgomery County District Attorney Risa Ferman.
The District Attorney’s office did not have a comment when I called them this morning. But the likely reason for the investigation is the timing of the Cardinal’s death that came a day after Common Pleas Court Judge Teresa Sarmina ruled that Bevilacqua could be compelled to take the witness stand in the child sex abuse trial of three priests who had served in the archdiocese.
According to the Philadelphia Inquirer, the coroner Walter Hofman conducted a postmortem examination of Bevilacqua’s body the day after he died and after it had already been embalmed. Hofman told the Inquirer that county prosecutors “wanted to make sure there were no intervening events that could have speeded up [Bevilacqua’s] demise.”
In November, Common Pleas Court Judge M. Teresa Sarmina declared the cardinal competent and let prosecutors from the Philadelphia District Attorney's Office question him during a closed hearing at the seminary. The assistant district attorneys cited Bevilacqua's frail health as one reason they wanted to preserve his testimony on videotape before the trial.
Acting on a request from defense attorneys, Sarmina last week reiterated her ruling that Bevilacqua was competent and could be called to the witness stand. He died the next night.
Montgomery County District Attorney Risa Vetri Ferman asked the county coroner to examine the body of Cardinal Anthony J. Bevilacqua two weeks ago because the timing of the 88-year-old prelate's death struck her as "peculiar," she said Friday.
Originally posted by youdidntseeme
guessing a flyersfan might be from Philly
Personally I think that someone played with his medication and this is the result,
same as I think with John Paul I.
Originally posted by kosmicjack
Wow. DA's don't pursue autopsies on a whim.