Lee says he’s called to testify in Hudson case

Published 12:00 am Friday, June 25, 2004

VIDALIA, La. &045; A nearly two-year-old case involving the death of a child is still raising questions this week before parish a grand jury.

Adams County Corner James Lee said he was summoned to court Monday to testify in a November 2002 case he ruled a homicide.

Eric Hudson, 5, was found in the pond behind his family’s house in Vidalia on Nov. 9, 2002. The boy was taken to Natchez Regional Medical Center where Lee pronounced him dead. In February 2003 Lee used a final autopsy report to rule the death a murder, saying the boy had been molested.

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But Concordia Parish Sheriff Randy Maxwell said he found no evidence the boy had been molested and the death may have been an accident.

Hudson’s parents, Rachel and Sam Hudson, filed a civil suit against Lee in March 2003. Their lawsuit claims Lee told media he knows the true identity of the killer and that Maxwell was trying to cover up the identity.

The suit also questions Lee’s qualifications as a coroner.

Lee said he stands by his original ruling and said he is willing to cooperate fully with the grand jury.

Lee said he did not testify Monday because he was not called before a pre-scheduled out of town trip to a state corner’s convention.

&uot;I don’t know if they are going to reschedule my appearance,&uot; Lee said. &uot;I’m willing to do whatever I can for the state. It may be that they have evidence enough to bring charges against someone.&uot;

Lee said he is willing to cut his trip short if he is called to testify later in the week.