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Reuters, Published February 10 2014

Ex-Wisconsin medical examiner sentenced after taking body parts to train dog

MILWAUKEE - A former Wisconsin medical examiner was sentenced to a year in jail on Monday for taking a piece of a corpse's spinal column to train her cadaver-searching dog, court records showed.

Traci England, 47, was also sentenced to three years of extended supervision in an Oneida County Circuit Court on two felony counts of misconduct in public office, according to online court records.

England pleaded guilty to the charges on Jan. 17 after theft and obstruction charges against her were dismissed as part of a plea bargain, court records show.

The criminal complaint said England took a piece of bone from a corpse's spinal column after another medical examiner removed it during an autopsy on Sept. 5, 2011.

She told fellow employees she planned to use the bone to train her cadaver dog, which is used to search for dead bodies, the complaint said.

Investigators wrote in the complaint that England "made a comment on how lucky she was to have gotten this section of the spine because it was hard to come by."

During a search of her Town of Newbold home on Jan. 4, 2012, investigators found what appeared to be brain and liver tissue along with a piece of bone in her garage, the complaint said.