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COLUMBUS — A grand jury investigation into a 39-year-old Columbus man's death from a self-inflicted knife wound could get underway within a couple of months.

That was the timeline provided by Platte County Attorney Carl Hart after ordering an autopsy in the death of Daniel Harmon while being arrested Friday by Columbus Police officers outside a residence in the 1600 block of 40th Avenue.

Hart, who serves as county coroner as part of his official duties, said the toxicology results from the autopsy and a pathologist’s conclusions will take more than a month, but could be completed within a couple of months.

State law requires a grand jury be called when someone dies while in custody or while being arrested.

A grand jury’s job is to determine whether any law enforcement officers violated any law during the arrest or death involved in the incident.

When the medical results are in, Hart is mandated by state law to certify them to the district court.

“I anticipate certifying the results to the district court and getting ready to present them to a grand jury,” said Hart, who has served as the county attorney since 2010.

The county attorney has a month-long window for certifying the results to the court.

According to information released by Columbus Police, Harmon’s death came in the wake of a reported domestic dispute at the residence.

Police said Harmon was threatening to harm himself shortly after officers arrived and, while they were trying to talk him into giving up the weapon, injured himself.

Officers secured the scene of the 10:20 a.m. incident and turned the investigation of the death over to the Nebraska State Patrol.

Harmon was rushed by Columbus Rescue to Columbus Community Hospital, where he was pronounced dead.



Jim Osborn is a news reporter at The Columbus Telegram.

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