A Heartland county is adding a deputy coroner. New Scotland County Coroner Dr. Jeffrey Davis has appointed registered nurse Thelma Norton as deputy coroner. Norton was sworn in earlier this month. Norton is the first Scotland County Deputy Coroner. She will serve in the absence of the coroner and assist the coroner with fulfilling the functions of the office. Norton is the supervisor of the Emergency Department at Scotland County Hospital.
State statue requires the county sheriff or the chief deputy to serve as the coroner in the coroner's absence. The sheriff's department has always complied, but felt it was somewhat a conflict of interest. The appointment of a deputy coroner will allow the two agencies to complete their investigations of suspicious deaths independently.