Coroner announces cause of death for man in Lexington County custody

Lexington County Coroner Margaret Fisher is releasing the cause and manner of death for Bernice Junior Smith, III.

Smith was apprehended by the Lexington County Sheriff’s Department during a warrant service August 9. Smith went unresponsive after apprehension and was transported to a local hospital where he was pronounced dead shortly after arrival. A forensic autopsy was performed August 11 at MUSC in Charleston.

Though autopsy results and any details are not released due to HIPPA and privacy, the cause and manner of death of a person is considered public information under the Freedom of Information Act.

The cause of death for Smith was determined by the pathologist at MUSC in Charleston to be multi-drug toxicity, and the manner of death will be ruled by Coroner Fisher as accidental.

The South Carolina Law Enforcement Division continues to investigate this case.