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Dozens Of Consumers Allegedly Duped By Leawood Man Who Posed As A Forensic Pathology Expert

Forensic pathologist Shawn Parcells speaks during a news conference to share preliminary results of a second autopsy done on Michael Brown Monday, Aug. 18, 2014, in St. Louis County, Mo. The independent autopsy shows 18-year-old Michael Brown was shot at least six times, and Parcells, who assisted former New York City chief medical examiner Dr. Michael Baden during the autopsy, said a graze wound on Brown's right arm could have occurred in several ways. (AP Photo/Jeff Roberson)
Forensic pathologist Shawn Parcells speaks during a news conference to share preliminary results of a second autopsy done on Michael Brown Monday, Aug. 18, 2014, in St. Louis County, Mo. The independent autopsy shows 18-year-old Michael Brown was shot at least six times, and Parcells, who assisted former New York City chief medical examiner Dr. Michael Baden during the autopsy, said a graze wound on Brown's right arm could have occurred in several ways. (AP Photo/Jeff Roberson)

A Leawood man who has no medical degree but held himself out as a medical examiner allegedly duped at least 82 consumers , according to Kansas Attorney General Derek Schmidt.

Schmidt on Thursday said his office had uncovered 79 more people harmed by Shawn Parcells, who achieved cable news notoriety in 2014 by posing as an expert in the investigation into the fatal police shooting of Michael Brown in Ferguson, Missouri.

In a news release, Schmidt said his office has amended its civil suit against Parcells and companies affiliated with him to increase from three to 82 the number of consumers affected by Parcell’s alleged activities.

Schmidt said the state has now taken control of more than 1,600 blood samples and slides collected by Parcells and is working to identify families with legal claims to them.

Parcells had a contract with Wabaunsee County to conduct coroner-ordered autopsies but failed to complete them in accordance with Kansas law, the civil suit alleges.

Parcells is awaiting trial in Wabaunsee County on three felony counts of theft and three misdemeanor counts of criminal desecration.

Earlier this year, Parcells began marketing COVID-19 testing services to the families of victims of the novel coronavirus, offering to test tissue samples. A court order later barred him from doing so.

Although Parcells held himself out as a forensic pathology expert in multiple cable news appearances following Brown’s death, a CNN investigation in 2013 revealed that he did not have a medical degree and that he had exaggerated other credentials.

Parcells continued to call himself a “professor” and advertise “pathophysiology” and “forensic” services as recently as this year, according to a restraining order filed against him by Schmidt’s office.

Parcells, whose age Schmidt lists as 41 but whom other news sites say is 37 or 38, attended Kansas State University. In 2014, he told the Washington Post that he learned how to do autopsies from “on-the-job-training” watching pathologists and assisting them.

The 1,600 biological samples seized by the state are now under the control of the Kansas Department of Health and Environment, which has catalogued and stored them. They will be released to family members upon verified request.

Copyright 2021 KCUR 89.3. To see more, visit KCUR 89.3.

Dan was born in Brooklyn, N.Y. and moved to Kansas City with his family when he was eight years old. He majored in philosophy at Washington University in St. Louis and holds law and journalism degrees from Boston University. He has been an avid public radio listener for as long as he can remember – which these days isn’t very long… Dan has been a two-time finalist in The Gerald Loeb Awards for Distinguished Business and Financial Journalism, and has won multiple regional awards for his legal and health care coverage. Dan doesn't have any hobbies as such, but devours one to three books a week, assiduously works The New York Times Crossword puzzle Thursdays through Sundays and, for physical exercise, tries to get in a couple of rounds of racquetball per week.