McAlester News-Capital, McAlester, OK

Local News

September 28, 2012

Deaths at Narconon Arrowhead spur two more lawsuits

(Continued)

McALESTER —

In August, a lawsuit was filed by Matthew and Suzan Holten, the parents of Hillary Holten. The suit, filed Pittsburg County Court on Aug. 23, alleges that Narconon did not provide adequate medical care for Hillary Holten and that she died as a result of Narconon’s negligence.
According to the lawsuit, after Hillary Holten was admitted to a hospital for health-related issues, she tested positive for drugs. Her parents found Narconon Arrowhead after searching for a  rehabilitation center with “the hopes that she could obtain treatment for drug issues.” 
The lawsuit also states that the parents were assured the facility had adequate medical staff who could properly manage their daughters Congenital Adrenal Hyperplasia, a condition which required daily doses of Dexamethasone and in extreme circumstances, an injection of liquid cortisone. 
A negligence lawsuit against Narconon Arrowhead involving the 2009 death of Werninck was settled April of 2011, according to court records.
Meanwhile, Pittsburg County officials are still waiting on reports from the Oklahoma Chief Medical Examiner to continue their investigation.
In July, the District 18 First Assistant District Attorney Richard Hull said the results would take four to six weeks.
Now, more than eight weeks later, officials are still awaiting for the results.
“We haven’t received anything yet,” said Joel Kerns, Pittsburg County Sheriff.
Kerns said after he receives the medical examiners’ reports, he will pass the  results to the DA’s office and to determine whether charges will be filed.
 In August, more evidence into the investigation of Graves’ death was added to Kerns’ case after an April autopsy report revealed other items were found with his body. According to the ME report, “A white pillow with dried brown fluid staining along with a clear, colorless plastic bag, (accompanied) the body in a separate body bag.”
On Thursday, Kerns said the pillow and the other items were turned over to the OSBI for further examination.

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