By City News Service and Craig Clough
An autopsy report released by the Los Angeles County coroner's office raised new questions about the shooting death of veteran Hollywood publicist Ronni Chasen.
Chasen was found shot multiple times in her Mercedes coupe on a Beverly Hills street in November 2010. A year later, the Beverly Hills Police Department concluded that her death resulted from a botched robbery by Harold Martin Smith, a small time ex-convict desperate for money.
Smith, 43, was named a suspect, but police say he committed suicide when officers confronted him at the Harvey Apartments in Hollywood.
Police said Smith approached Chasen's car on his bike at a stopped traffic light at Sunset Boulevard and Whittier Drive and tried to rob her. But a section of the autopsy report released Thursday titled "Informant/Witness Statements" contradicts that conclusion, the Los Angeles Times reported.
The report states that while Chasen was stopped at a red light at the intersection, "an unknown vehicle pulled up and someone fired approximately four gunshots into her vehicle."
The autopsy report could reignite conspiracy theories that swirled after her death, particularly among friends who never accepted the official police account, according to The Times.
Beverly Hills police did not immediately comment on the coroner's report. In July of 2011, the department released a statement that said, “Without a doubt, it is the conclusion of robbery homicide detectives that the sole perpetrator of this most heinous crime was Harold Martin Smith.”
Last month, Ryan Katzenbach, a producer, sued the city of Beverly Hills and the coroner's office in a bid to obtain police files related to Chasen's death for use in his documentary "6:38." Its unclear if the release of the autopsy report is related to the lawsuit.