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Police union files challenge to coroner's inquest

Reported by: Gerard Ramalho
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Updated: 5/01/2012 11:11 am
LAS VEGAS (KSNV & MyNews3)-- It's been more than a year and a half since the last coroner's inquest in Clark County and tonight News 3 has learned that the one scheduled to begin next week may also be delayed.

News 3's Gerard Ramalho has been following this story and has the latest information.

Attorney's representing the police union have filed an emergency appeal with the Nevada Supreme Court based on the argument the inquest process is unconstitutional.

News 3 has been told it's highly likely the court will at least consider that appeal before May 3, which is when the inquest is scheduled to take place.

The court will have a couple of options. It can either make a ruling on the case saying that it is constitutional, which would mean the inquest can proceed. Or that it is unconstitutional. That's probably unlikely on short notice. The judges could rule that the inquest be delayed until they have time to review the argument.

The case that is scheduled for inquest involves Eduardo Lopez-Hernandez, who died last August when Nevada Highway Patrol troopers used a Taser multiple times to subdue him.

The troopers say Lopez-Hernandez was driving erratically and he was combative when they pulled him over.

This would be the first case to go to an inquest hearing since October of last year. There are 18 others still pending.

The police union believes the new inquest guidelines and parameters are unconstitutional because an ombudsman is provided to the deceased's family. The union says this makes the process adversarial.

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