Coroner’s inquest finds Murray Center resident’s death a homicide

MARION COUNTY — A standing Marion County Coroner’s jury found Thursday night during an inquest that homicide was the cause of death for a resident of the Warren G. Murray Developmental Center in Centralia.

(Source: Marion County Coroner's Office)
(Source: Marion County Coroner’s Office)

On March 30 of this year, 46-year-old Todd Clementz, a resident of the Murray Center, collapsed after a shower at the developmental center. Clementz was taken to St. Mary’s Hospital in Centralia, where he was pronounced deceased a short time later.

Because Clementz died in Marion County, Coroner Troy Cannon’s office, along with the Department of Human Services Office of the Inspector General, and the Illinois State Police Division of Internal Investigations conducted investigations into Clementz’ death.

Those investigations included an autopsy and toxicology tests, the results of which were presented to the coroner’s jury Thursday night, along with witness testimony.

The Coroner’s jury found that Clementz, who was deaf and blind, died as the result of being sprayed in the face with a shower wand until he began choking as punishment by a Mental Health Technician who was assigned to his unit.

Based upon the information gathered in the investigations, and witness testimony, the jury found homicide as the cause of Clementz’ death, ruling out accidental, natural, suicide, or undetermined as other possible options.

According to Cannon, because the incident allegedly leading to Clementz’ death occurred in Clinton County, the finding will now be handed over to Clinton County State’s Attorney John Hudspeth, and it will be his decision on how to proceed with possible criminal prosecutions.

An Illinois Department of Human Services spokeswoman says two employees were placed on administrative leave shortly after the death and one has since been fired. She says the agency will take further personnel actions as necessary.