PubliCola has learned that the King County Medical Examiner’s Office haven’t released the cause of death in the Danny Vega beating yet because a possible preexisting medical condition may have played a role.
As Seattle Police Department homicide detectives work to find the three men suspected of brutally beating South Seattle business owner Vega, investigators in the King County Medical Examiner’s office are still trying to determine whether the three men are ultimately responsible for Vega’s death, or whether he died as the result of a preexisting medical condition, a distinction which could ultimately allow the three suspects to escape murder charges.
On November 15, Danny Vega was walking near 42nd Ave. S and Martin Luther King Jr. Way S. when he was attacked and robbed. Vega was beaten severely and knocked unconscious, but later returned home before he was taken to Harborview with life-threatening injuries. Vega slipped into a coma at the hospital and died twelve days later.
Police are investigating the case as a homicide, but the King County Medical Examiner’s office has not yet released the official cause of Vega death.
Law enforcement sources tell PubliCola that’s because after Vega was admitted to Harborview, doctors found a blood clot, which ultimately caused his death. However, investigators are still trying to determine whether the blood clot was caused by the beating, or a preexisting condition only discovered after Vega was admitted to the hospital for treatment.
If investigators determine the blood clot was not caused by the beating, the three men police say beat and robbed Vega would likely face assault, rather than murder charges.
Despite this new development, police say this ultimately won’t effect their investigation into Vega’s death.
“While I’ve not heard what the cause of death was, this is still a homicide investigation,” says SPD spokesman Sean Whitcomb. “Nothing’s going to change.”