In the ongoing battle over releasing the cause of death of Zachery Tims, the Orlando-area megachurch pastor who was found dead in a W Hotel room in New York City in August, New York authorities argued in a court filing on Friday that the information should be made public.
The New York City Law Department said that Tims’ mother knows that the death of her son is a “matter of public interest,” according to the Orlando Sentinel.
Manhattan State Supreme Court Judge Cynthia S. Kern previously ruled that the Medical Examiner's office has the legal right to reveal Tim's cause of death to the public, though they can keep his autopsy and toxicology report private. But Madeline Tims filed an appeal against the ruling on earlier this month.
"While [Zachery] Tims did not die while in the custody of the city, or in a hospital or a nursing home, it cannot be disputed that he was a public figure in Florida and the cause and manner of his death are reasonably the subject of public inquiry," the city's lawyers wrote in the complaint.
News reports indicate Tims, who died at the age of 42, had a plastic bag filled with white powder in his pocket, leading many to believe his death was associated with a drug overdose. By Tims’ own testimony, he was instantly delivered from drug addiction when he was saved as a teenager.
Madeline Tims, the mother of the late pastor who is working to block the release of her son’s toxicology reports, now has two weeks to answer the response to her appeal.
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