The previously sealed autopsy report of Bobbi Kristina Brown will be made public following a request from a Georgia media outlet. On Thursday (March 3), Fulton County Superior Court Judge Henry M. Newkirk approved a motion to unseal the documents under Georgia’s Open Meetings and Open Records Act.
TEGNA Media, parent company of Georgia’s WXIA-TV, filed the motion to release Brown’s autopsy, toxicology, death certificate, and any additional reports related to her passing. Derek Bauer, lawyer for TEGNA Media on behalf of 11Alive News, argued that a September 2015 order to have the documents sealed was “constitutionally flawed and fatally vacated,” in that Judge Newkirk isn’t authorized to read the documents, and the request was made without public notice.
There are special instances in which documents, like autopsy and toxicology reports, are not made public. The state argued that the exposure of Brown’s information could “jeopardize” an ongoing investigation into her death. Judge Newkirk reportedly remarked in court that the state has had plenty of time to investigate and presumably file charges.
Furthermore, Bauer pointed to Atlanta’s growing heroin epidemic as reason for the request. If Brown’s passing was brought on by heroin use, as has been speculated, the information would be of public interest.
Last week 11Alive premiered, Inside the Triangle, a digital documentary investigating a growing heroin epidemic in the suburbs of northern Atlanta, including where Brown lived. The documentary revealed that three of Brown’s friends succumbed to heroin-related deaths a year before and after she was found unconscious in a bathtub, and subsequently placed on life support.
The 22-year-old daughter of Whitney Houston and Bobby Brown, died last summer. The state will not appeal the order to release her records, which is expected to be signed by Judge Newkirk in the coming days.