If the Holmes County Board of Supervisors votes Monday in favor of joining a regional medical examiner district that already includes Yazoo and Humphreys counties, the district will be able to hire the pathologist of its choice.
That choice is expected to be Hayne, Yazoo County Coroner Ricky Shivers said. “Dr. Hayne is more available. The pathologists that come down from Tennessee … you try to get ahold of them, but they’re bad about not returning phone calls. They’re out of state and out of contact.”
He said District Attorney James Powell was the one pushing for this. Powell could not be reached for comment Friday.
Eric Ferrero, spokesman for the Innocent Project, called the creation of a new district “deeply troubling. You really have to wonder why a district attorney or coroner would be so dead set on hiring someone who doesn’t meet the credentials for the job.”
Ferrero said Hayne is not board certified in forensic pathology.
“Leaders of mainstream forensic organizations have seriously questioned his practices,” he said.
Just because Hood has said what the counties are doing is legal “doesn’t release anybody from liability if Hayne reaches conclusions not supported by science as he has in other cases,” he said.