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Justice minister to review Clayton Miller case


NEW WATERFORD — Nova Scotia Minister of Justice  Lena Metlege Diab has committed to a review of new information in the cause of death of Clayton Miller, 24 years ago.

Clayton Miller

Maureen Miller, Clayton's mother, was happy to hear the news, but remains cautious.

"Because of being let down so many times, I don't get my hopes up," she said. "I just hope they're sincere and this will be an honest review."

In a statement released on Friday, Diab said her department received a review of the previous two autopsies of Clayton Miller, recently conducted by Kate Dwyer of Chester, a retired nurse.

"I directed that the report be forwarded to Dr. Matt Bowes, the chief medical examiner for the province," Diab said. "He has committed to reviewing this report and will report back to me with his findings. He also intends to meet with the family and Ms. Dwyer to discuss his findings."

The minister said, having four children herself, she can’t imagine what the Miller family has gone through.

"They have my deepest sympathy. I reached out to them this morning (Friday) to personally let them know what I was going to do with the new information I received."

Dwyer's report was critical of the autopsy.

"Further investigation of Clayton's death is necessary as there was either an accident and or foul play and it appears that a poor and despicable job was done of his autopsy," Dwyer wrote.

Miller said Dwyer’s review revealed the dislocation of her son's elbows was in the autopsy but wasn't stressed or commented on by Dr. Butt, who did the initial autopsy, and the gash on the back of his head and missing teeth weren't mentioned at all.

"We said from the get-go, they chose to cover it up instead of doing what they should have done."

Miller said the minister of justice phoned her Friday, as did Dr. Bowes.

"He said the minister suggested he phone us and let us know what he'll be doing," she said. "Dr. Bowes  said it will take a while and we understand that there's a lot to this case.

"We don't want anything rushed, we want it done right. We want answers that  match up with the evidence, not what we've been given all along."

Miller said the family appreciates the more than 6,000 followers on their Justice for Clayton Miller Facebook page.

The body of Clayton Miller, 17, was found face-down in a stream in 1990, two days after New Waterford police raided a teen party in the woods. An initial autopsy concluded he died from dry drowning and a second autopsy indicated he died of exposure.

Maureen and Gervase Miller believe their son died in police custody and his body was placed in the brook.

smontgomery@cbpost.com

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