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Sunday and Monday - Four Deaths Under Coroner Jurisdiction

Rickey StokesE

Viewed: 6735

Posted by: RStokes
Date: Feb 27 2018 1:17 AM

HOUSTON COUNTY:    On Sunday and Monday, four people have died in cases where the Houston County Coroner has had to respond.

On Sunday morning, Houston County Sheriff 911 rolled units on Highway 231 South a female not breathing. The call was Rehobeth Rescue jurisdiction but no response. Houston County Sheriff 911 rolled the backup ambulance, Pilcher Ambulance.

The crew from Cottonwood Rescue was on Smithville Road near the scene. They called me while I was in church for permission to roll. My instructions were to roll and begin life saving measures if possbile but the call was that of Pilcher Ambulance.

When the emergency units arrived at the scene it was obvious the person was deceased.

This morning Houston County Sheriff Deputies rolled to McClain Parkway off State Line Road. A semi truck has been parked there for several days. The semi was running and locked. Law Enforcement finally had to make forcible entry into the truck. The truck driver was deceased.

This afternoon another medical emergency. Another call of a female not breathing. Cottonwood Rescue rolled. They immediately followed protocol calling in advanced life support help. Dothan Fire Engine 4 ( Southside ) rolled to the scene. When Sheriff Deputies arrived it was obvious the person was deceased and had been down a long period of time.

A few minutes ago Dothan Fire called for the Coroner. A fourth person since Sunday, in Houston County, has passed away under circumstances to require the Coroner to respond and investigate the cause and manner of death. 

All four deaths were natural deaths. Which leads me to a question: I am sure none of these four persons planned on Sunday and Monday being their day to pass from his life into eternity. So are you ready? Are you ready spiritually? I encourage you to speak with Memphis Baptist Church Pastor Jim Tate, Bethel Baptist Church Pastor Ricky Plummer, Houston County Jail Chaplin Joe Holland. Seek out someone grounded in faith and talk with them.


In Houston County, an elected job. At age 21 I was elected as Houston County Coroner. The salary was $ 100 per month with a $ 400 a month expense allowance. That expense allowance was increased to $ 800 a month. During my four years, I worked over 1154 deaths. Deaths of all nature to include where the Napier Field Police Chief murdered the Napier Field Mayor. Deaths where a man jumped on a moving train, robbing and shooting the train conductor.

As Coroner I pushed for legislation to move the salary of Coroner from $ 100 a month, combining the expense allowance into salary, for a salary of $ 12,000.00 per year.

I did not seek re-election as Coroner. Four years of the demand on your time and being single, four years was enough. And I did not have a funeral home so it was not of great value for me.

Years later when Houston County Commission Chairman Mark Culver talked about a raise. I informed Chairman Culver that the Sheriff salary ( and Lamar Glover was Sheriff then ) and the Coroner salary needed to be increased. That the Coroner should make the same as that of a Houston County Commissioner which is $ 33,000.00 a year. 

They only brought the salary of the Houston County Coroner to $ 18,000.00 per year. I did not fuss because I knew the current Coroner, Robert Byrd, was more interested in what funeral home families decided on then he was on performing the duties of Coroner. So I left it alone.

But being a funeral director/funeral home owner and serving as Coroner are a direct conflict of interest. While Robert Byrd is a fantastic funeral director and nothing but compliments on him as a funeral director, but NO FUNERAL DIRECTOR should be Coroner. Especially in larger counties such as Houston County.

If there has ever been a conflict of interst, Coroner having a funeral home is a direct conflict of interest.

The average cost of a funeral is $ 10,000.00 plus. By serving as Coroner probably some 45 to 50 calls are sent to the Coroner’s Funeral Home. At an average of $ 10,000.00 per funeral, that is $ 500,000.00 a year income.

So if you fuss about some of the business dealings some leaders do... well being Coroner and owning a funeral home is more of a conflict of interest then a lot of the business dealings done where certian people make money.


Eddie Ingram is more than experienced to serve as the elected Houston County Coroner. He is not associated with any funeral home and does not any business that is connected with the funeral homes.

Eddie Ingram can serve the families with dignity and respect. Not taking several hours to respond while your loved one is laying on the ground in the dirt and ants.

Eddie Ingram will treat the deceased body and the family with the dignity and respect deserved, REGARDLESS of what funeral home you might select.

While Robert Byrd is a good man, the conflict of interest is to great, and there has been mistreatment of families and other funeral homes when the families go with any other funeral home but the Coroner’s.

Eddie Ingram can be contacted at 334-796-7667. Campaign contributions can be made to Eddie Ingram for Coroner 1532 Enon Road Webb Alabama 36376.

Eddie does not have the money that Robert has to spend on the campaign. When another funeral home owner ran against Robert he spent about $ 50,000.00 working to retain the $ 18,000.00 per year job.

That is because of the volume of business being Coroner brings him as a Funeral Home Director/Owner.

Time has passed to end the conflict of interest.

First Funeral

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