Rockford's Independent Newspaper

UPDATE. Coroner’s inquests pushed back in Cox, Patterson deaths

UPDATE: Monday, Jan. 29: Inquests into the deaths of Rockford Police Officer Jaimie Cox and Rockford resident Eddie Patterson will be rescheduled, according to the Winnebago County Coroner.

William Hintz said in a statement that the coroner’s office is awaiting further reports requested by the Winnebago County State’s Attorney Office. New dates for the inquests will be released at a later time.

By Jim Hagerty

ROCKFORD — Coroner’s inquests will take place next week in the traffic stop during which Rockford Police Officer Jaimie Cox and Rockford resident, Eddie Patterson, were killed.

The inquest for Cox is scheduled for Wednesday, Jan. 31. Patterson’s will convene Friday, Feb. 2. Both will be held in front of six jurors and a court reporter.

The news comes after Winnebago County Coroner Bill Hintz announced that test results were returned in the investigation into each man’s death. Details of the test results have not been released.

In the early hours of Nov. 5, Cox stopped a pickup truck driven by Patterson. What unfolded after that isn’t clear. Cox called for backup during the stop but it is not known how he became entangled in Patterson’s truck. An autopsy revealed that Patterson died from gunshot wounds suffered by bullets reportedly fired from the officer’s service weapon.

Cox, 30, died of blunt force trauma. He is believed to have been dragged as the truck proceeded north on Dawn Avenue and crashed into a tree near the Unitarian Universalist Church. Patterson was found inside the vehicle, Cox near the scene of the crash. A nearby traffic signal camera captured a portion of the stop, but not what transpired when Cox approached Patterson.

Initial reports indicated that police believed Cox had been shot, but were later corrected. Patterson was not armed. Police say he was driving illegally. His driver’s license was revoked, and the plates on the pickup were registered to another vehicle.

A coroner’s inquest is an inquiry into the cause of a person’s death and is often used when circumstances are suspicious or unclear.

Jaimie Cox was a resource officer with the Illinois Department of Natural Resources before joining the Rockford Police Department in September 2016. He served in the U.S. Army National Guard and was a graduate of Hononegah High School and Northern Illinois University. His death has been ruled a homicide.

Patterson, 49, worked for a janitorial firm contracted by the BMO Harris Bank Center. His daughter, Telecia Banks, filed a wrongful death lawsuit against the City of Rockford Nov. 17. She is seeking at least $50,000 in damages. A status hearing is scheduled for April 4. R.


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