Pathologists conclude jailed man died of natural causes

Published 12:00 am Monday, March 12, 2007


A preliminary report from pathologists indicate a Selma man found dead in his cell at the Dallas County jail apparently died of natural causes, according to the Dallas County Sheriff’s Department.

Jailed in connection with the murder of his cousin in a shootout called &8220;accidental,&8221; Eric Lamond Craig, who apparently had health issues, was held on $176,000 bond since his arrest for the Oct. 30, 2006. Authorities confirmed Craig was on medication, and his attorney had sought his release for medical reasons.

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Sheriff Harris Huffman said while they have yet to receive written verification from the Alabama Department of Forensic Sciences, a call to his office from state pathologists revealed Craig, 33, died from &8220;causes related to hypertensive cardiomyopathy.&8221;

During preliminary hearings in Dallas County District Court testimony revealed Craig had been fighting with several other men. During proceedings, testimony revealed that Sanchez &8220;Mook&8221; Manuel, 25, was with Craig and was left outside Craig’s apartment &8220;to stand guard&8221; while Craig dressed upstairs.

When backup arrived, because of the darkness, Manuel told police he didn’t recognize the men or the vehicle and felt threatened after seeing four men get out of a truck with guns.

Selma police investigators picked up more than 20 spent cartridges from an assault rifle at the scene, where Manuel admitted he opened fire at men he thought had come for trouble. In the aftermath, three men were shot and one died.

Kelly Craig, 23, was pronounced dead at Vaughan Regional Medical Center. Michael Craig, 30, and Gary Craig, 28, were injured in the shooting. Michael Craig was released from the hospital after two days, and Gary Craig was transported to Jackson Hospital in Montgomery by ambulance.

Manuel remains to face the charges of murder and assault as a result of the shooting.