By Advocate.com Editors
Originally published on Advocate.com August 29 2002 12:00 AM ET
A coroner's report has revealed that a man stabbed outside a Riverside, Calif., gay bar in June may have bled to death because a nurse gave him a drug that prevented his blood from clotting. Coroner's officials said in their report, which was released this week, that a nurse accidentally gave 40-year-old Jeffrey Owens 100,000 units of an anticoagulant drug. The amount was 100 times the recommended dose, the report said. Owens bled to death at Riverside County Regional Medical Center in Moreno Valley.
Five alleged gang members have been charged with Owens's murder. They have pleaded innocent to murder, gang, and hate-crime charges. Authorities said the five defendants attacked Owens outside a Riverside bar on June 5 because he was gay. His friend, Michael Bussee, also was beaten and stabbed but survived the attack. Prosecutors said Tuesday that the hospital's error does not lessen the culpability of those facing murder charges. "Were it not for the stab wound, he would not be dead," deputy district attorney Anne Corrado said.