A former U.N. General Assembly president who was awaiting trial in a $1million bribery scandal died in a weightlifting accident when a barbell he was lifting from a bench dropped on his neck, an autopsy revealed.
John Ashe was declared dead at his home on Wednesday afternoon by a paramedic who responded to his home in Dobbs Ferry, New York. He was 61.
Dr. Kunjlata Ashar, Westchester County's medical examiner, said the cause of death - traumatic asphyxia - was determined during an autopsy.
It was deemed an accident based on a combination of information from the autopsy and an investigation by the Dobbs Ferry Police Department, officials said.
In a statement, the police department said the death appears accidental, but provided little information otherwise.
Ashe, a former United Nations ambassador from the twin-island Caribbean nation of Antigua and Barbuda, was arrested last fall.
Ashe pleaded not guilty to tax charges related to a bribery scandal. His attorney said he was planning to go to trial.