Lowcountry coroner inquest begins into child death

A lawsuit on behalf of Bryan Okeith Seabrook, who was charged with the death of 2 year old Elijah Washington, has prompted a coroner's inquest in Charleston County.

MOUNT PLEASANT, SC (WCBD)– On Tuesday, Coroner Rae Wooten is set to begin an inquest into the death of a toddler in 2013.

A lawsuit was filed on behalf of Bryan Okeith Seabrook, who was charged with the death of 2 year old Elijah Washington.

Washington died of internal injuries while in the care of Seabrook. Coroner Wooten stated that the child died of blunt force trauma to the midsection.

Police arrested Seabrook on probable cause, stating that an eye witness saw him strike Washington.

Seabrook was released on bond in October of 2013, but in 2015 the charges were dismissed altogether.

Last week Coroner Wooten requested an inquest, or an inquiry into the cause of the child’s death.

An inquest is a hearing that is rarely used in the state of South Carolina. It may be brought forward at the discretion of the coroner when there is a possible murder or a suspicious death. It is usually held in front of a jury and may lead to new evidence or new charges being filed.

Seabrook’s attorney, Mark Peper is now filing a suit against the coroner and the Mount Pleasant Police Department, stating that his client was wrongly accused because of gross negligence.

He says that the previous findings were inconsistent, and that the injuries to the child were from previous abusers. He hopes the lawsuit will hold investigators accountable in the inquisition.

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