COLUMBUS COUNTY, N.C. (WECT) – Two years after appointing him to serve as a medical examiner for Columbus County, the state has permanently revoked that appointment from Feris Ammons.
According to a spokesperson from the N.C. Department of Health and Human Services, Ammons was appointed as medical examiner in July 2019. He was suspended from the position on June 11, 2021. The Medical Examiner Review Committee reviewed his suspension in July and revoked Ammons’ appointment on July 29, 2021.
A published report from the Whiteville News Reporter indicates the suspension came after complaints from law enforcement that Ammons had acted inappropriately at crime scenes and in his interactions with law enforcement. According to the report, the specific allegations from the suspension letter involved “withholding critical witness information, receiving information about scenes prior to law enforcement and searching and searching scenes without jurisdiction.”
Ammons declined to comment when WECT contacted him by phone on Wednesday. WECT is attempting to obtain a full copy of the suspension letter from the state, along with any minutes from the Medical Examiner Review Committee that might further explain what prompted the appointment to be revoked.
Ammons is a registered nurse and the emergency manager for Columbus Regional Healthcare.
The chief medical examiner in North Carolina appoints local medical examiners to serve three-year terms throughout the state. When there is a death that is suspicious, unusual, or unnatural, medical examiners are called in to investigate. In some cases, they will recommend that an autopsy be performed.
Even though Ammons’ appointment has been revoked, there is at least one other medical examiner still working to investigate deaths in Columbus County.
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