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Medical examiner releases report on Braves fan's suicide

Braves fan's suicide
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First Posted: 10/03/13 EDT Updated: 10/03/13 EDT

An Atlanta Braves fan "made a conscious decision" to jump to his death at Turner Field from an area not typically accessed by ballpark visitors, according to a medical examiner's report obtained by the Atlanta Journal Constitution.

Ronald Lee Homer Jr., 30, of Conyers, Ga., fell 85 feet into the players' parking lot on Aug. 12 after climbing, one leg at a time, over a railing, a witness told the Fulton County Medical Examiner's office. Though his family initially said his death was accidental, it was officially ruled a suicide on Sept. 19. Details of the medical examiner's newly released report were not announced at the time of that ruling.

Homer's blood alcohol level was twice the legal limit, tests showed, but is not believed to have caused his fall, according to the medical examiner.

“Alcohol intoxication may have played a role in his behavior and decision-making process, but not in making him unsteady near a dangerous railing,” the report states.

The report also indicates Homer knew about a fan who fell to his death at Turner Field in 2008 and talked about the incident with his friends. A friend told investigators he believed Homer was suicidal, according to the newspaper.

Homer was transported to a nearby hospital after the fall but died of blunt force trauma to his torso and lower extremities.

The fall occurred during a rain delay during a Phillies-Braves game. The day after his death, Homer's mother said she spoke to him on the phone shortly before he fell and that he told her he would soon be returning to his seat along with his friends. The medical examiner's report indicates Homer separated himself from his friends before his fall.

Homer's death initially raised questions about safety at ballparks. The 42-inch railing over which Homer -- described by his father as standing at 6-foot-6 -- climbed would only have reached his midsection, the Associated Press reported. Before his death was ruled a suicide, his parents told USA Today they were considering legal action against the Braves.

The night after his death, the Braves held a moment of silence for Homer. He was described by family and friends as a lifelong, ardent fan of the team.