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How a Pacemaker Took Center Stage in a Murder Case

St Jude Medical Identity ADx SR pacemaker
The St. Jude Medical Identity ADx SR pacemaker, as shown on the company's website.

An Ontario man was accused of stabbing his father to death--until data from his dad's St. Jude Medical pacemaker provided crucial evidence, according to a report in the Toronto Star

Chris Newmarker

Frank Cara is suing Durham, Ontario police for mishandling the investigation of his father's Claudio Cara's murder, filing away data from Claudio's pacemaker that would have cleared Frank of the crime much earlier.

Instead, Franc Cara spent months in jail after being arrested for the murder. Eventually, his defense lawyers found the pacemaker data buried in 10,000 to 15,000 pages of disclosure.

Durham police declined to discuss the case with the Star.

Claudio Cara's pacemaker, a St. Jude Medical Identity ADx SR model No. 5386, recorded two "loss of capture" events at 10:35 a.m. and 10:36 a.m. on the day he died, February 15, 2012. In other words, it provided a time of death.

Frank Cara was visiting his maternal grandmother at the time, and was nowhere near the Oshawa home he shared with his father. It was not until shortly after noon that he returned home to find his father dead.

Refresh your medical device industry knowledge at BIOMEDevice Boston, May 6-7, 2015.

Chris Newmarker is senior editor of Qmed and MPMN. Follow him on Twitter at @newmarker.

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