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Teen's death self-inflicted, autopsy report shows

By By Marianne Todd/The Meridian Star
Jan. 15, 2001
Lauderdale County Coroner Marl Cobler said Sunday an autopsy report revealed a Lauderdale County teen-ager, who was pulled from the wreckage of a Friday car accident, died from a self-inflicted gunshot wound.
Cobler said the report indicated the .22 caliber bullet entered through the teen's right temple.
Emergency crews were called to the scene of the wreck, about a 100 yards south of Cotton Gin Road on Highway 45 North, after the car in which 18-year-old Otis Portis was driving left the road and hit a tree. Portis had been driving southbound at about 10:30 a.m. when the accident occurred.
Portis was transported to Jeff Anderson Regional Medical Center for treatment for a head injury. Tests later discovered a bullet lodged in his head.
A deputy who first arrived on the scene discovered a .22 caliber handgun lodged in the steering wheel of Portis' car. Mississippi Highway Patrol officials, who investigated the accident, said they were not sure if the bullet came from the gun found in Portis' car or from another location.
A witness reported seeing Portis' Chevy leave the roadway for no apparent reason.
Portis' body was transported to the Mississippi Mortuary in Jackson on Friday for autopsy. Cobler said the report was returned on Sunday.
Marianne Todd is a staff writer for The Meridian Star. E-mail her at mtodd@themeridianstar.com.

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