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Jury rules man's death undetermined

Jury rules man's death undetermined

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LINCOLN — The cause of death for a Middletown man was found to be undetermined by a coroner's jury, but officials say the investigation is still open.

James H. Fielden, 56, of Middletown was found about 9:45 p.m. March 11 on the street adjacent to the sidewalk behind Austin's Dog House in what officials think was likely a hit-and-run accident, according to Logan County Coroner Bob Thomas.

Shirley Alberts of the Logan County coroner's office said Friday that the cause of death was undetermined after no new details emerged during Thursday's inquest.

Logan County detective Sgt. Mark Landers said that although the cause of death was undermined, the investigation still remains open to try to find out the exact cause of death.

Landers wouldn't comment on whether officialsn;thought alcohol was involved in the case, but toxicology results showed Fielden's blood alcohol level was 0.297 - almost four times the legal limit for driving, said Alberts.

Based on the March 13 autopsy, Thomas had said Fielden likely died from blunt force injury to the body due to a motor vehicle accident. Autopsy reports showed Fielden had suffered numerous broken ribs, collapsed lungs, extensive injuries to his chest and lacerations and injuries to the left side of his head.

The head injuries, however, were determined not to have been the cause of death.

Anyone with information about the case is asked to call Logan County Sheriff Steve Nichols at (217) 735-3141.


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