Autopsy says BB killed 4-year-old boy in Carter County

John Thompson • Jul 8, 2013 at 1:00 PM

ELIZABETHTON — The autopsy conducted on a 4-year-old boy who died last week revealed a BB had penetrated his skull.

Carter County Sheriff Chris Mathes revealed the preliminary results of the autopsy on Saturday. He said the BB was recovered.

Mathes said the investigation into the death of Coty Cox is continuing. Deputies responding to a 911 call to 340 Lovers Lane found the lifeless Cox on Tuesday at 12:25 p.m.

Mathes said the child’s mother had left him with two older boys, ages 13 and 10. Mathes said the older boys lied and tried to mislead investigators during the initial stage of the investigation. The sheriff said the boys told the investigators Cox had been jumping on a bed and fell and hit is head on a dresser.

“That story did not stand up to what was found in the autopsy,” Mathes said. During the investigation, the officers located a high-powered BB gun on the premises.

“We will continue to talk with the boys,” Mathes said. He said the shooting could have been an accident. No charges have been placed. He said his investigators will be working closely with the Department of Children’s Services and the district attorney general’s office.

Mathes said one thing that will be addressed is the maturity of the boys. “Some 13-year-olds can be depended upon with a small child, but some are not ready,” Mathes said. He said that would also be a factor in deciding whether or not the mother was negligent in leaving the 4-year-old with the older boy.

“No decisions have been made in the case,” Mathes said.

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