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Prosecutor says police obstructed investigation into officer's alleged Russian roulette killing

Rogue Valley

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Prosecutor says St. Louis police obstructed investigation into officer's alleged Russian roulette killing

4578717.vpx.jpg

St. Louis Police Officer Katlyn Alix.

1/30/19
The St. Louis circuit attorney's office has publicly criticized police, saying they obstructed an investigation into last week's fatal shooting of an officer and prematurely labeled it an accident. In a letter Monday to St. Louis Metropolitan Police Commissioner John Hayden and Public Safety Director Jimmie Edwards, Circuit Attorney Kimberly M. Gardner wrote there was probable cause that drugs or alcohol may have been a contributing factor in the shooting of Katlyn Alix, a 24-year-old police officer. Officer Nathaniel Hendren, 29, fatally shot Alix at his residence Thursday after the two allegedly took turns holding a revolver containing one bullet and pulling the trigger, according to police. The lethal game of chance is sometimes known as Russian roulette.
Hendren has been charged with involuntary manslaughter in the first degree and armed criminal action relating to the death of a fellow police officer.

Despite the existence of probable cause, Gardner wrote that prosecutors were not allowed to take a blood test of Hendren and an unnamed on-duty officer also present. They were later informed that a urine analysis and a breath test, which are less exact than a blood test, had been taken under Garrity rights. These are warnings that public employees have a right to remain silent. "Taking these tests under the cover of Garrity appears as an obstructionist tactic to prevent us from understanding the state of the officers during the commission of this alleged crime," Gardner wrote in the letter. The circuit attorney said that police initially told investigators that the shooting was an "accident," and also characterized it as a "mishandling" of a firearm. Gardner's letter called such conclusions troubling. The sternly worded letter raises more questions about the case and comes days after Hendren's attorney described it as nothing more than an accident. "We are aware of the rumors, innuendo, and salacious gossip surrounding the accidental death of Officer Katlyn Alix," attorney Talmage E. Newton IV said. "There is no evidence, nor will there ever be, that this was anything more than a tragic accident."

When shot, officer Alix was off duty and officer Hendren was on duty. Hendren (who supposedly had consumed alcohol) had suggested the he and Alix play Russian roulette. The third trigger pull shot Alix. She died shortly after arriving at a hospital. What the prosecutor here is very upset about, is that police homicide investigators did not seek a judge's order for a blood test on officer Hendren. This would have yielded accurate blood-alcohol results. Instead, investigators received a urine sample and administered a breathalyzer test which are less accurate. Most troubling though is that these samples and questions were provided by Hendren while he was under what is known as a "Garrity warning". In a Garrity rights/warning, public employees must cooperate in an investigation or be immediately terminated. However, statements and samples/evidence collected under Garrity are inadmissible in a court of law. From a distance, I'd say the circuit prosecutor here has a legitimate beef.

Question: Do you believe a Russian roulette death can ever be strictly an accident?
 

Fletch

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Prosecutor says St. Louis police obstructed investigation into officer's alleged Russian roulette killing

4578717.vpx.jpg

St. Louis Police Officer Katlyn Alix.



When shot, officer Alix was off duty and officer Hendren was on duty. Hendren (who supposedly had consumed alcohol) had suggested the he and Alix play Russian roulette. The third trigger pull shot Alix. She died shortly after arriving at a hospital. What the prosecutor here is very upset about, is that police homicide investigators did not seek a judge's order for a blood test on officer Hendren. This would have yielded accurate blood-alcohol results. Instead, investigators received a urine sample and administered a breathalyzer test which are less accurate. Most troubling though is that these samples and questions were provided by Hendren while he was under what is known as a "Garrity warning". In a Garrity rights/warning, public employees must cooperate in an investigation or be immediately terminated. However, statements and samples/evidence collected under Garrity are inadmissible in a court of law. From a distance, I'd say the circuit prosecutor here has a legitimate beef.

Question: Do you believe a Russian roulette death can ever be strictly an accident?

Im not sure I even buy the Russian Roulette story, but true or not, Hendren is responsible for the womans death. The guy took a loaded gun, aimed at another person and pulled the trigger. He is responsible for her death and should be held responsible.
 

Kal'Stang

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Prosecutor says St. Louis police obstructed investigation into officer's alleged Russian roulette killing

4578717.vpx.jpg

St. Louis Police Officer Katlyn Alix.



When shot, officer Alix was off duty and officer Hendren was on duty. Hendren (who supposedly had consumed alcohol) had suggested the he and Alix play Russian roulette. The third trigger pull shot Alix. She died shortly after arriving at a hospital. What the prosecutor here is very upset about, is that police homicide investigators did not seek a judge's order for a blood test on officer Hendren. This would have yielded accurate blood-alcohol results. Instead, investigators received a urine sample and administered a breathalyzer test which are less accurate. Most troubling though is that these samples and questions were provided by Hendren while he was under what is known as a "Garrity warning". In a Garrity rights/warning, public employees must cooperate in an investigation or be immediately terminated. However, statements and samples/evidence collected under Garrity are inadmissible in a court of law. From a distance, I'd say the circuit prosecutor here has a legitimate beef.

Question: Do you believe a Russian roulette death can ever be strictly an accident?

If she agreed to play Russian roulette then its self inflicted. Nothing should be done. Doesn't matter if there were drugs/alcohol involved.
 

Kal'Stang

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Im not sure I even buy the Russian Roulette story, but true or not, Hendren is responsible for the womans death. The guy took a loaded gun, aimed at another person and pulled the trigger. He is responsible for her death and should be held responsible.

Did he aim the gun? Or did she aim it at herself? Russian Roulette can be played either way.
 

Skeptic Bob

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Why are people believing the Russian Roullete story? What seems more likely, that two police officers just decided to play Russian Roullete or that one murdered the other?
 

Fletch

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Did he aim the gun? Or did she aim it at herself? Russian Roulette can be played either way.

The story I heard was that they took turns aiming the gun at each other and pulling the trigger. If thats true, then he shot her. Plus, unless there is other witnesses, the story isnt really believable to me.
 

Rogue Valley

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Why are people believing the Russian Roullete story? What seems more likely, that two police officers just decided to play Russian Roullete or that one murdered the other?

There was a third officer present who says he witnessed everything … until they actually began to pull the trigger. He states he left right before that point.
 

Rogue Valley

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Question: Do you believe a Russian roulette death can ever be strictly an accident?

Typically, participants in a game of Russian roulette resulting in death are charged with involuntary manslaughter. The mere act of participating is deemed criminally reckless and irresponsible behavior.

Criminal Liability Of Participants In Fatal Russian Roulette, 21 Wash. & LeeL. Rev. 121 (1964) - https://scholarlycommons.law.wlu.edu/wlulr/vol21/iss1/11
 

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Prosecutor says St. Louis police obstructed investigation into officer's alleged Russian roulette killing

4578717.vpx.jpg

St. Louis Police Officer Katlyn Alix.



When shot, officer Alix was off duty and officer Hendren was on duty. Hendren (who supposedly had consumed alcohol) had suggested the he and Alix play Russian roulette. The third trigger pull shot Alix. She died shortly after arriving at a hospital. What the prosecutor here is very upset about, is that police homicide investigators did not seek a judge's order for a blood test on officer Hendren. This would have yielded accurate blood-alcohol results. Instead, investigators received a urine sample and administered a breathalyzer test which are less accurate. Most troubling though is that these samples and questions were provided by Hendren while he was under what is known as a "Garrity warning". In a Garrity rights/warning, public employees must cooperate in an investigation or be immediately terminated. However, statements and samples/evidence collected under Garrity are inadmissible in a court of law. From a distance, I'd say the circuit prosecutor here has a legitimate beef.

Question: Do you believe a Russian roulette death can ever be strictly an accident?

Yes, but under weird circumstances.

More than one person has played Russian Roulette with a pistol that has blanks. Not knowing the concussive force is enough to do damage. The blast and the material holding the powder in place can kill.
 

Bodi

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Prosecutor says St. Louis police obstructed investigation into officer's alleged Russian roulette killing

4578717.vpx.jpg

St. Louis Police Officer Katlyn Alix.



When shot, officer Alix was off duty and officer Hendren was on duty. Hendren (who supposedly had consumed alcohol) had suggested the he and Alix play Russian roulette. The third trigger pull shot Alix. She died shortly after arriving at a hospital. What the prosecutor here is very upset about, is that police homicide investigators did not seek a judge's order for a blood test on officer Hendren. This would have yielded accurate blood-alcohol results. Instead, investigators received a urine sample and administered a breathalyzer test which are less accurate. Most troubling though is that these samples and questions were provided by Hendren while he was under what is known as a "Garrity warning". In a Garrity rights/warning, public employees must cooperate in an investigation or be immediately terminated. However, statements and samples/evidence collected under Garrity are inadmissible in a court of law. From a distance, I'd say the circuit prosecutor here has a legitimate beef.

Question: Do you believe a Russian roulette death can ever be strictly an accident?

A Russian Roulette death can NEVER be ruled an accident... it is literally impossible.
 

Mr Person

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Question: Do you believe a Russian roulette death can ever be strictly an accident?

As a question of law? I haven't ever had occasion to research it, but accident is probably going too far. At the very least, the intent qualifies for involuntary manslaughter. Given the likelihood of death, I'd want to charge it as manslaughter at the very least.

It'd be like putting on a blindfold and driving on a dare. Sure, you aren't setting out to kill someone but holy **** what could you possibly expect to happen?


It really would come down to how the state's laws on homicide are worded.
 
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