Friday, August 17, 2001

Med student killed, coroner now says

The Associated Press

        ST. CLAIRSVILLE, Ohio — A medical student from Pittsburgh found dead nearly four years ago was killed and did not commit suicide, a coroner said Thursday.

        Anthony Proviano, a student at the University of Cincinnati medical school, was found shot in the chest with his own gun near St. Clairsville on Dec. 28, 1997. His death first was ruled a suicide and then changed to undetermined.

        Mr. Proviano's parents have been fighting to prove that he didn't kill himself.

        Belmont County Coroner Gene Kennedy said Thursday he was in the process of getting Mr. Proviano's death certificate changed to homicide.

        The coroner at the time of the death, Dr. Manuel Villaverde, determined without an autopsy that Mr. Proviano shot himself. Dr. Villaverde later changed the manner of death to undetermined but left the cause of death as a self-inflicted gunshot wound.

        Maryann Proviano and her husband, Carmen, believe Dr. Villaverde issued the suicide ruling “arbitrarily, recklessly, wantonly and in bad faith.” They eventually campaigned against his re-election as coroner.

        “We have always thought that my son's death was a homicide,” Carmen Proviano said.


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