Experts' findings: Max Shacknai's death was no accident - Dallas News |

Experts' findings: Max Shacknai's death was no accident

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There are new developments surrounding last year's death of a valley boy at a Coronado mansion. It was deemed an accident, but his mother wants the investigation reopened.

Authorities in Coronado ruled Max Shacknai fell over the second floor railing to the bottom of the stairs, but two experts hired by the boy's mom disagree. Max is the son of Jonah Shacknai, founder and CEO of Scottsdale-based Medicis Pharmaceuticals Corporation.

The two experts came to the same conclusion. They both believe the evidence is not consistent with an accident. They think Max Shacknai's death may have been the result of an assault.

"We presented them science and real science doesn't lie," says Dina Shacknai. "I know my son. He wouldn't fly off the banister like Superman because that wasn't his nature."

6-year-old Max Shacknai died after falling from the second story of his father's Coronado mansion.

This is the scenario put forward by investigators in San Diego: that Max accidentally fell over the banister, hitting his head on the way down.

But in their reports, both forensic pathologists point to the height of the banister in that mansion. They both say Max's center of gravity, whether he was on foot or on a scooter, would be too low to cause him to fall over.

One of them writes... "A more reasonable scenario, one that is both consistent with the injuries observed on the deceased and consistent with the scene measurements, is that Maxfield was assaulted by another person at the hallway, near the banister on the second floor."

In some of the picture from the scene, you can see damage to the banister. Max was under his father's girlfriend's care when this all happened. She was found dead a few days later. Her death was ruled a suicide.

Even though he disagrees with the authorities' explanation, one of the experts writes... "I cannot affirmatively state exactly what happened… I also am unable to determine the initiating event and who was at fault at the time of the subject accident."

Dina Shacknai told us, "The findings on his body and the scene, the evidence of the scene. The environment of the scene doesn't match that scenario at all... it has been about ten days and we are hopeful that they will reopen this case and amend the disposition of this case."

Lea Corbin from the Coronado Police stated: "We did meet with Dina Shacknai last week and will review the information provided." A time frame was not given.

Related story: Mother vows to investigate son's fatal accident

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