The office released the cause of death Thursday, following a New York appellate court ruling on Dec. 10 upholding a lower court’s decision that the medical examiner had authority to release the results. This, despite Tims’ mother’s efforts to keep the results private, according to the Orlando Sentinel.
Per the release, Pastor Tims died of “acute intoxication by the combined effects of cocaine and heroin. Manner of death: Accident.”
Officials from the New Destiny Christian Church, where Tims practiced, did not return calls for comment. Though the NYPD concluded that his death wasn’t from foul play, reports say officers found a packet of powder in his pants.
Tims was open about his struggle with drugs in the past, admitting to his congregation his addictions as a teenager. He also had struggles with violence. Speaking at his funeral, Bishop T.D. Jakes characterized him as a good man, struggling to recover. “He tried hard to heal himself, to fix himself,” Jakes said.
Tims was also known to be unfaithful to his former wife. In 2008, Riva Tims filed for divorce from him. While she initially cited “irreconcilable differences,” Riva eventually admitted that it was because of her husband’s alleged “multiple and repeated extramarital sexual affairs.”
Speaking after his death, she said she knew of Zachery’s past drug usage, but not that he was still on them. “I had no idea it was so much. I’ll put it this way: It’s one thing to have a struggle; it’s another thing to have a lifestyle,” she said. “When it’s a struggle, there’s grace. But when it’s a lifestyle, there’s no grace.”
As a couple, the two previously managed to transform New Christian Church into one of the largest houses of worship in Central Florida.