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Autopsy Says Man Tased By Deputies Died Naturally

An autopsy says a man who died this summer was tased four times by Bertie County deputies. The report lists Clarence Smith's death as natural.

On July 9th, the 29-year-old Smith died at Bertie Memorial Hospital. He was taken to the hospital after being tased by sheriff deputies, south of Windsor.

Deputies were trying to take Smith to the hospital for an involuntary commitment after his sister said he was "acting funny."

The autopsy obtained by WITN News says Smith was tased four times by deputies. About a half hour later, Smith stopped breathing in the hospital emergency room and later was pronounced dead.

To view the autopsy, click the link at the top of this story

The autopsy says there were no drugs found in Smith's system. The medical examiner listed his death as caused by cardiovascular collapse due to acute psychosis. After a review by the Chief Medical Examiner, it says Smith's death was natural.

Relatives told deputies Smith had been working in Louisiana for the past two to three years and his behavior began to change, so they brought him back in North Carolina on June 22. The autopsy says several years ago Smith nearly died of a drug overdose when "he tried to hide some cocaine in his rectum."

Contacted this morning, Bertie County Sheriff Greg Atkins wouldn't comment about the autopsy, saying the death was still under investigation by the State Bureau of Investigation.


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