Deputies in wrongful-death case dispute autopsy finding that disabled man died from asphyxia

Three Maryland sheriff's deputies are disputing the state medical examiner's conclusion that a man with Down syndrome died from asphyxia as they struggled to remove him from a movie theater in 2013.

In a U.S. District Court filing, the deputies contend the evidence shows that 26-year-old Robert Ethan Saylor probably died from an underlying medical problem. A civil lawsuit brought by Saylor's family names the deputies, state and mall management company.

The autopsy found that Saylor was obese, with heart problems and a lung scarred from a childhood medical problem.

Plaintiffs' attorney Joseph Espo said Tuesday that expert witnesses for Saylor's family disagree with almost everything in the filing.

The New Market man died after the off-duty deputies tried to remove him from a Frederick theater auditorium because he didn't have a ticket.