I-Team: Family of Slain Lawyer Demands Answers from Suffolk Police - NBC New York
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I-Team: Family of Slain Lawyer Demands Answers from Suffolk Police

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    NEWSLETTERS

    The family of a lawyer killed at a Long Island beach club last summer is raising questions about why no one has been arrested for his homicide. Sarah Wallace reports. (Published Thursday, Feb. 25, 2016)

    The family of a lawyer killed at a Long Island beach club last summer is raising questions about why no one has been arrested for his homicide.

    It has been six months since Mike Divers, a 52-year-old father of two, was killed outside a community beach club in Centerport.

    Suffolk County Police say they are investigating, but Divers' family says they’re not getting any information and believe they are being stonewalled.

    “I kept saying, 'How could he be dead?'” said Divers' widow, Kristen.

    Police declined comment to the I-Team, saying their investigation is ongoing.

    Kristen said she and her husband were on the beach with friends last August, when Mike went to use the restroom at the community clubhouse.

    Less than 15 minutes later, he was being carried away in an ambulance  -- dead before he arrived at the hospital.

    Kristen said police told her Mike suffered a heart attack after getting into an altercation with two people at the clubhouse, where a Sweet 16 party was being held.

    A family friend, who was suspicious of that story, contacted private investigator Eddie Dowd and his partners.

    Dowd said the two men had asked Divers to leave the party. They all went out the back door. Divers then fell down the club’s back stairs, Dowd said.

    “This is where the extreme altercation happens,” Dowd told the I-Team, gesturing to the area at the base of the stairs. “The two men sit on him and kill him.”

    Dowd said he and his colleagues were told by Suffolk County cops that Divers, a longtime community resident, was drunk and crashed the party, and that the two other men had acted in self-defense. But he said the condition of Mike Divers' body and witnesses to his death tell a different story.

    “We looked at the body, we looked at the injuries to the body,” Dowd said. “It looked like he had been in a very violent fight.

    “He looked like he was in a car accident,” said Mike’s brother, John Divers.

    Kristen agreed.

    “There were cuts all over him. He had a big bump on his head.”

    The family says they have been unable to get Divers' medical records or even the autopsy because of the ongoing criminal investigation.

    The private investigators said they interviewed six or seven witnesses, and none of them said that Divers was aggressive or acting out.

    One of those witnesses was Alex Coventry, who attended the party.

    “They hit him, they sat on him. They left him just lying on the ground, face down,” Coventry said. He said Divers wasn’t fighting back.

    “It didn’t look like he had a chance to,” Coventry said. “It was two-on-one.”

    Coventry says Divers was on the ground for at least 30 minutes before emergency responders arrived, and that cops only briefly questioned witnesses.

    Private investigators say they got an e-mail from within the Suffolk Police Department that was insulting to Divers. It said, “Our critical fault is response time-maybe 30 minutes to arrive. However, being a fat, drunken -- slob is the contributory factor.”

    Family attorney Abe George said they want to know if there was any connection between the police department and the alleged perpetrators. “It reeks of some sort of cover-up,” he said.

    Kristen said what’s most outrageous to her is that she received a letter from one of the men involved in the altercation complaining he’d been bitten on the leg and asking the Divers family to pay the nearly $1,500 medical bill.

    The widow said she wants an arrest.

    “My life has totally changed," said said. "These men were involved and it’s a homicide. It is their fault and they should be held accountable, and there should be some justice for my husband.”

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