Mark Salling’s autopsy revealed his cause of death as asphyxia by hanging.
“The autopsy was completed today and the doctor just posted the cause the cause of death asphyxia by hanging and the manner of death is suicide. The case is now closed and the body is ready for pick up,” Ed Winter of the Los Angeles Coroner Office tells Us Weekly on Thursday, February 1.
As previously reported, the coroner confirmed to Us that the Glee alum died on Tuesday, January 30. Salling was found by a riverbed in the Sunland-Tujunga neighborhood of L.A., and was pronounced dead at the scene. Us confirmed that one of Salling’s family members reported him missing at 3 a.m. before his body was discovered on Tuesday.
The 35-year-old actor, who pleaded guilty to possession of child pornography involving a prepubescent minor in December 2017, was set to be sentenced on March 7. In October, he agreed to a plea deal that included four to seven years in jail. According to the court documents previously obtained by Us, Salling was also ordered to pay approximately $50,000 in restitution and register as a sex offender after his stint in jail.
However, a source close to his child pornography case explained to Us on Wednesday, January 31, that Salling’s estate might not have to pay his victims because he was not sentenced before his death.
“Restitution would be a part of his sentence. The amount of the restitution is determined by the sentencing judge … He will not be sentenced. Therefore there will be no restitution order,” the insider told Us. “Therefore I doubt that there is anything to take to civil court. Any restitution order would be allocated among multiple known victims.”
The source added, “I’m not saying that there isn’t some lawyer out there willing to file suit on behalf of someone claiming to be a victim. But I am saying, that there is no order to be enforced, for $50,000 or any other amount on behalf of anyone.”
Criminal defense attorney Troy Slaten, who is not directly involved in Salling’s case, further explained that Salling’s victims would have to file a suit in civil court to pursue any restitution.
“Any victims can sue his estate in civil court and receive monetary awards for damages. These awards … can be in the neighborhood of hundred of thousands of dollars or even in the millions,” Slaten said. They have to file suit in civil court, if they have not already, which they want to do quickly, because you do not want the estate to distribute assets. That would make it more difficult to collect.”
If you or someone you know is in emotional distress or suicidal crisis, please call the Lifeline at 1-800-273-TALK (8255).
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