Historic City News has learned that Dr. Terrence R. Steiner, the medical examiner who performed forensic autopsies in criminal investigation for twenty-one years in St. Johns, Flagler and Putnam counties, resigned last week at the age of 65.
Steiner, who resides on South Ponte Vedra Boulevard, has specialized in forensic pathology, clinical and anatomic pathology since graduating medical school — over forty years ago. Steiner is a 1970 graduate of West Virginia University School of Medicine in Morgantown. He completed his internship in 1971 and residency in 1973 at Mayo Grad School, located in Rochester, Minnesota.
Volusia County Medical Examiner Dr. Marie A. Herrmann is now serving as interim Medical Examiner until such time as a permanent appointment is made.
In a letter dated September 30th, Steiner told then Governor Crist, State Attorney R. J. Larizza, St. Johns County Fire Chief Bobby Hall and the Medical Examiners Commission that he did not wish to seek re-appointment and that he tendered his resignation effective January 1, 2011.
“I am proud of my service to the Citizens of District 23 in my capacity as Medical Examiner, but it is now time for me to focus on family, friends and retirement,” Steiner wrote.
Steiner may be best remembered for voicing his suspicions; setting off an extremely high profile investigation that continued for years in Pensacola. Allegations were made that his colleague, Medical Examiner William Sybers, hid the murder of Sybers’ wife, so that he could pursue a relationship with his mistress, resulting in Sybers murder conviction. Sybers was spared the death penalty and received a life sentence. However, in early 2003, an appeals court set aside Dr. Sybers conviction. The State decided not to try Sybers again because Sybers agreed to plead guilty to manslaughter. Sybers was sentenced to 10 years in prison. Eight years of his sentence was suspended and he was released. Sybers, who has cancer, had to pay $350,000 in court costs and was ordered to serve eight years probation.
Steiner said, “I was blessed with a superior and dedicated staff. I will miss them all very much.”