THE TOP STORIES OF 2015: Sheridan case still swirls


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By Lea Kahn, Staff Writer
MONTGOMERY — Controversy surrounding the deaths of John Sheridan and his wife, Joyce Sheridan, continued to swirl months after their deaths at their township home in September 2014.
The couple was found unresponsive in their home, after firefighters were called to a fire that broke out in the master bedroom shortly after 6 a.m. Sept. 28.
Investigators found a half-empty can of gasoline, which they said was used to start the fire. Mr. Sheridan’s DNA was found on the gasoline can, which was usually stored in the garage.
Based on the fact that Ms. Sheridan was found lying face up on the floor next to the bed and that she had suffered numerous stab wounds, investigators concluded that she had been stabbed to death. There were defensive wounds on her hands as she attempted to ward off her attacker.
Mr. Sheridan was found lying on the floor, also face up, underneath an armoire dresser. He sustained superficial stab wounds, none of which appeared to be defensive. He suffered two cuts and three stab wounds, which the assistant state medical examiner characterized as superficial and consistent with self-inflicted injuries. His cause of death was determined to be smoke inhalation and sharp force injuries.
Given those findings and citing other factors, such as Mr. Sheridan’s apparent demeanor — upset and withdrawn, likely because of workplace issues — investigators ruled the deaths to be murder-suicide. Mr. Sheridan was the president and CEO of Cooper Health Systems in southern New Jersey.
But the couple’s four sons rejected the Somerset County Prosecutor’s Office’s conclusion and have mounted a legal challenge to it. They hired their own pathologist, who disputed the assistant state medical examiner’s findings during the autopsy. 

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