Ray Anthony Neal, 61, was discovered dead on Saturday July, 20 by his sister Michelle Smalls. He was reportedly stabbed multiple times in the neck, which resulted in blood being splattered all over his bed, bathroom walls and shower curtain.
Gwinnett County Coroner Shannon Byers reportedly ruled his death to be from natural causes, claiming Neal’s arteries had burst and thus giving way to the bloody scene. Smalls questioned the ruling from the start.
“There’s no way,” Smalls told WSB-TV. “It was too much blood.”
Small’s suspicions were later confirmed when a funeral home employee, who was also a coroner in a neighboring county, discovered multiple stab wounds on Neal’s neck.
According to the Daily Mail, Byers later resigned over the inaccurate ruling and Eddie Reeves, Gwinnett County Coroner’s Office Chief Investigator, personally issued an apology to Neal’s family.
On Monday, Gwinnett County Coroner’s Office Chief Medical Examiner Carroll Terry conducted a full autopsy on Neal’s body. She noticed suspicious injuries believed to be stab wounds and ruled cause of death a homicide.
Smalls, distraught with the oversight, told WXIA, “She shouldn’t have a job,” referring to Byers. “I’m going after her job.”
Smalls and her family had reportedly began cleaning Byers’ home, potentially destroying valuable evidence, shortly after Byers’ initial determination.
As for who the murderer was, the case is currently under investigation. Police believe the initial incorrect ruling will not hinder their search for Byers’ killer.
“We were aware of the situation prior to getting that final classification from the medical examiner’s office,” Cpl. Michele Pihera told WFTV.
Ice Cube, Regina King And Many Of Black Hollywood React To The Death Of John Singleton
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RIP John Singleton, whose films poignantly depicted, humanized & articulated the beauty & struggle of S. Central & L.A. life as well as anyone. The best filmmaker of the hip hop generation, a creator of vivid 3-dimensional characters whose work eternally defined a place & time. pic.twitter.com/7zOpDRwldK— Otto Von Biz Markie (@Passionweiss) April 29, 2019
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RIP John Singleton. So sad to hear. John was a brave artist and a true inspiration. His vision changed everything.— Jordan Peele (@JordanPeele) April 29, 2019
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Rest In Power, my friend. One of the greatest to ever do it. Thank you GOD for blessing us with this gift better known as John Singleton. Having trouble finding enough words to share just… https://t.co/SlQGwDEHU7— Regina King (@ReginaKing) April 29, 2019
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JOHN SINGLETON . A GENIUS .— Janelle Monáe, Cindi Mayweather👽🚆🤖🚀🪐 (@JanelleMonae) April 29, 2019
Thank you for capturing US like no other . 😭🙏🏽🖤
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There aren’t many of us out here doing this. It’s a small tribe in the grand scheme of things. He was a giant among us. Kind. Committed. And immensely talented. His films broke ground. His films mattered. He will be missed. And long remembered. Thank you, John. #RunIntoHisArms pic.twitter.com/wKfOaCGFuA— Ava DuVernay (@ava) April 29, 2019
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Mourning the loss of a collaborator & True Friend John Singleton. He blazed the trail for many young film makers, always remaining true to who he was & where he came from!!! RIP Brother. Gone Way Too Soon!— Samuel L. Jackson (@SamuelLJackson) April 29, 2019
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Cookie and I are deeply saddened to hear about the untimely passing of our friend and outstanding filmmaker John Singleton.— Earvin Magic Johnson (@MagicJohnson) April 29, 2019
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John Singleton was a visionary and exceptional artist whose work I’ve always deeply admired. I only met him once, but I was so happy when I did and to find him filled with nothing but kindness, support, and encouragement. All prayers to his loved ones. May he forever rest.— Uzo Aduba (@UzoAduba) April 29, 2019
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I was discovered by a master filmmaker by the name of John Singleton. He not only made me a movie star but made me a filmmaker. There are no words to express how sad I am to lose my brother, friend & mentor. He loved bring the black experience to the world. ..Us at Cannes ‘90 pic.twitter.com/CaRKjZtjgB— Ice Cube (@icecube) April 29, 2019
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This is me & john Singleton on text in 2017 talking about doing a three six mafia biopic If this would had happened we would have won another Oscar for Best Picture John Singleton is a genius he knew the culture he helped us all I love you bro pic.twitter.com/yYo62kOSdv— juicy j (@therealjuicyj) April 29, 2019
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New favorite pic of John Singleton ✊🏾💔😢 pic.twitter.com/zIx044JTPj— Matthew A. Cherry (@MatthewACherry) April 29, 2019
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The best life is when we leave a trail. We leave something on this earth bigger than us. John Singleton....you inspired a generation of Artists. We will shoulder on....'May flights of angels sing thee to thy rest". RIP— Viola Davis (@violadavis) April 29, 2019
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I cannot believe this man is gone at such a young age. He was always encouraging, supportive, and gracious to me. I will be calling his and his family’s name in my prayers tonight. Heartbroken and shocked. May God add peace and rest to your ascending soul Mr. John Singleton. pic.twitter.com/5PFug6LQJO— Tyler Perry (@tylerperry) April 29, 2019
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Never allow anyone to place limits on your greatness and capabilities.— ᴅᴏʟʟᴀʀ (@callmedollar) April 29, 2019
Rest In Peace, John Singleton. pic.twitter.com/rxnEDC2l1e
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God Bless this guy.— MichaelRapaport (@MichaelRapaport) April 29, 2019
John Singleton Damn.
Such a nice guy.Talented guy.Generous
Gave so many people there Big Breaks.
What a nice loyal guy he was.#johnsingleton
Literally gave me the opportunity of my career. Was so supportive t& was my biggest fan making Higher Learning pic.twitter.com/c2xSCXfg2C
Coroner Ruled A Man Stabbed Multiple Times Died Of Natural Causes was originally published on blackamericaweb.com