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Albany doctor found dead had 'intra-oral' gunshot wound

Albany police have not ruled out that the injury that killed Dr. Thomas Paschal could be self-inflcited

Brandon Davidson Aman was jailed Wednesday on a robbery charge. (Special Photo)

Brandon Davidson Aman was jailed Wednesday on a robbery charge. (Special Photo)

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Tracy Jo Walker is being held in the Dougherty County Jail on a robbery charge. (Special Photo)

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Tracy Lauren Atwood is being held in the Dougherty County Jail on robbery and felony probation violation charges. (Special Photo)

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Joshua David Hodge is being held in the Dougherty County Jail on a robbery charge. (Special photo)

ALBANY — Dr. Thomas Paschal died from a single gunshot in the mouth, Dougherty County Coroner Michael Fowler said.

Fowler this afternoon described the wound as an “intra-oral” gunshot wound.

Albany police are investigating the case as a “suspicious death.”

meanwhile, four people are being called “persons of interest” in the death of the former Albany pediatrician, who was found dead Tuesday night at his home.

Police say the four — Tracy Jo Walker, Joshua David Hodge, Brandon Aman and Tracy Lauren Atwood — all of whom were booked into the Dougherty County Jail early Wednesday, have been charged with robbery in an unrelated case in which a 41-year-old man was robbed of his wallet and cell phone.

Officials say that robbery took place at Knights Inn, 1201 Schley Ave., around 8 p.m. Tuesday.

Atwood also is listed on Dougherty County Jail records as being charged with felony probation violation.

During a search of Atwood’s Huntington Drive residence, officers found drugs linked to Paschal, including amphetamine and crack cocaine an official Sheriff’s report stated. Paschal, 48 at the time, was arrested and charged with possession of illegal drugs.

Phyllis Banks, spokeswoman for the Albany Police Department, said that while the Schley Ave. robbery is unrelated to the death of Paschal, which police are listing as “suspicious,” the four persons of interest are known to have had ongoing “relationships” with Paschal and are being questioned in regard to the case.

“All of them had been associated with the victim, and that’s a red flag for us,” Banks said.

Atwood’s history with Paschal includes one violent incident. In August 2011, Atwood was arrested by Lee County sheriff’s deputies after she was accused of firing a .38-caliber pistol at Paschal in her Lee County home. Officials said Atwood was charged with aggravated assault with a firearm, false statements, and possession of a firearm during the commission of a crime.

Banks said there is no evidence that anything was taken from the Paschal residence at 715 W. Third Ave. When police responded to an anonymous “welfare” call to the address around 7:35 p.m. Tuesday, officers had to call for assistance from the Albany Fire Department to gain entry, Banks said.

Officers found Paschal dead inside the residence with a wound to an undisclosed part of his body, officials say. Pending autopsy results from the Georgia Bureau of Investigation crime lab, officials are calling the injury an “apparent gunshot wound.”

“The wound could well be construed as self-inflicted,” Banks said. “We’re waiting for the autopsy.”

Paschal has suffered from physical disability since the late 1980s. He and his then-wife Karen were at the center of a high-profile Dougherty County court case in 1988 after she was charged with assault and attempted murder of her husband.

Prosecutors at the time contended that Karen Paschal, a registered nurse, had injected Pavulon, a powerful surgical anesthetic and muscle relaxant, into Thomas Paschal’s home intravenous apparatus that he was using to replace fluids lost from illness, and later at the hospital, where he was taken after developing disturbing physical symptoms. Prosecutors contended she wanted to collect on his $1.3 million life insurance policy to rescue a failing business.

Karen Paschal later pleaded nolo contendere to the charges and was sentenced to 20 years on probation.