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Teen-ager dies, autopsy slated today

By By Sharon White/The Meridian Star
Jan. 14, 2001
A Lauderdale teen-ager involved in an automobile crash Friday and later discovered to have suffered a gunshot wound to the head was pronounced dead about 6:30 p.m. Saturday at a local hospital.
Lauderdale County Coroner Marl Cobler said an autopsy slated for today is expected to shed light on what actually caused the death of 18-year-old Otis Portis of 10707 Silliman Road.
He said the family requested life support be shut down about 6:36 p.m. after doctors pronounced Portis brain dead two hours earlier.
Officials with the Mississippi Highway Patrol are investigating the accident that occurred about 10:30 a.m. Friday just south of Cotton Gin Road on Highway 45 North. Reports said Portis' Chevy Baretta struck a tree head-on just after passing a trucker who noticed nothing unusual about Portis' driving seconds before the crash.
It was not until after the teen was transported to Jeff Anderson Regional Medical Center that a bullet was found lodged in his head.
Sheriff's officials said a .22 caliber handgun was found in Portis' vehicle at the scene of the accident and was turned over to the MHP.
A ballistics test and thorough investigation will determine whether the bullet came from the gun in the Baretta or from another source, Cobler said.
Clark's Memorial Funeral Home is in charge of funeral arrangements for Portis.
Sharon White is a staff writer at The Meridian Star. E-mail her at swhite@themeridianstar.com.

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