They met, they listened and they asked questions.
But Craig Prescott's family didn't leave convinced Tuesday that the 38-year-old former Stanislaus County sheriff's deputy died because of a hypertensive heart disease, as pathologist Dr. Eugene Carpenter determined during an autopsy.
Prescott died in a local hospital April 13, two days after deputies at the downtown jail used Tasers and pepper spray to subdue him. He'd been jailed April 7 on suspicion of stalking and making threats against his estranged wife, Rachel. She had a restraining order against him and custody of their six children.
At the sheriff-coroner's discretion, Carpenter did not comment after meeting with Rachel Prescott, Prescott's mother Marilyn Prescott and his brother Felton "Mickey" Prescott at the coroner's facility Tuesday afternoon.
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This is what family members said they learned from the conversation:
There is a video from the jail showing the April 11 altercation in the jail, but neither Carpenter nor coroner's officials have watched it.
"The only reason we would see the videotape is if it would assist us in determining the cause of death," Chief Deputy Coroner Kristi Ah You said. "(Carpenter) is quite confident in the cause of death. No one has told us we can't watch it. It's not relevant as of right now."
Sheriff's Department investigators assembled and provided the medical history that Carpenter considered in determining the cause of death. Deputy Royjindar Singh, the sheriff's spokesman, said a medical history is compiled through records provided by a deceased person's primary care physicians, specialists, local hospitals and hospitals in areas of previous residence.
The family said Prescott hadn't seen his primary care physician, Dr. Robert McGrew, since leaving the Sheriff's Department and losing his insurance in 2006. He had been a deputy for nine years.
The autopsy report includes a reference to a "past history of violent psychotic behavior ... ."
"We don't know where they got that," Felton Prescott said. "They were going by what happened in the jail. But if he was so aggressive, why where they shooting him in the back (with Tasers and pepper balls)?"
He had a "few" Taser marks on his back. Singh said the department won't reveal the number of times Prescott was Tased.
"(Carpenter) said the heart itself was a lethal weapon," Marilyn Prescott said. "(Craig Prescott) could have been napping and they would have seen the same thing. Our doctor disagrees."
The Prescott family hired its own expert who performed an autopsy April 15, a day after Carpenter did his. Marilyn Prescott said only that their expert is from Southern California. She declined to give his name but said he is "well-known" and has been involved in some high-profile cases. He's expected to produce his autopsy report next week.
Prescott's blood included tetrahydrocannabinol, or THC, the principal and most active ingredient in marijuana.
Prescott had Ativan, an anti-anxiety drug, in his postmortem urine. It hadn't made its way into his bloodstream.
"He was in there for four days, then becomes combative?" Rachel Prescott asked. "Why wait to give him Ativan?"
Family members said they're waiting for a detailed account of what happened leading up to his death.
The case is being investigated by the Stanislaus County district attorney's office and by sheriff's internal affairs.
"We just want to know what happened," Marilyn Prescott said. "We did not know Craig had a heart condition."
Bee staff writer Jeff Jardine can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or 578-2383.