Category Archives: The Noblest Profession Often Isn’t

Physicians behaving badly

Irish Doctor Found Guilty of Assaulting Police While Under the Influence of ‘Date Rape’ Drug

 

In the city of Belfast Ireland an MD already convicted of attacking police officers while under the influence of a date rape drug, is set to appeal her case.

Dr Eireann Kerr leaves the courthouse
Dr Eireann Kerr leaves the courthouse

Doctor Eireann Kerr’s bid to clear her name will be heard in Derry Courthouse.

The 32-year-old anesthesiologist was found guilty in April of multiple crimes committed after a Christmas party with her coworkers in December 2013. A concerned Derry taxi driver had driven her to a city police station from a bar, where she reportedly became violent. Doctor Kerr, who lives in nearby Marlborough Park, testified in court that she had no memory of the events that night.

Upon her release from the police station she had blood tests taken at a local hospital and traces of the ‘date rape’ drug GHB were discovered.

The Londonderry Magistrates Court judge said at the time of her conviction that he was convinced her drink had indeed been tampered with, but explained that “involuntary intoxication” was not a legal defense for violence. The wayward doctor apparently assaulted several police officers twice that night. She was given a two-month conditional discharge.

The doctor reports that criminal convictions have put her medical career at risk.

Here’s more:

http://www.belfastlive.co.uk/news/belfast-news/drugged-doctor-guilty-police-attack-9107067

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Our Take:

“The doctor reports that criminal convictions have put her medical career at risk.”

Well, Doctor Kerr, in the worst case scenario you can always emigrate to the U.S. where violent physicians rarely lose their medical licenses for anything.

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Paramedic Heretic Covers the Doctor Robert Neulander Murder Trial

Why did the jury convict Doctor Robert Neulander? Here’s why:

Time of Death: Medical Examiner Robert Stoppacher took Leslie’s body temperature two hours after 911 was called. At trial, Stoppacher testified that the cooling of her body suggests that she died between 4:15-7:15 in the morning — at least an hour before the 911 call. Famous forensic pathologist Dr. Michael Baden put the death at between 4:15-5:15.

Blood in all the wrong places: Prosecution experts testified that blood on the bedroom walls shows that Leslie Neulander was assaulted there. The CSI techs found more than 100 blood drops on the walls. Neulander told police he found his wife in the shower. This is the factor that Doctor Stoppacher testified caused him to change his mind. In explanation, Stoppacher pointed to reports from experts Doctor Peter Pizzola and Karen Green that suggested an “impact outside of the shower,” as he put it. Green testified that blood spatter on walls was consistent with an attack on the bed.

• Injuries that didn’t match up with a fall: Leslie Neulander had multiple injuries to her head, face, neck, shoulder and arm. The major one, a large fracture to the right side of her head, might have been caused by hitting a marble bench in the shower. The prosecution’s experts disagreed if the injury was caused by one or more blows. But they all agreed that the other injuries could not be explained by subsequent rescue efforts. In addition, experts said that a fall in the shower would have caused lower body injuries, which Leslie Neulander did not sustain.

Rigor Mortis: Paramedics and police officers all agreed that Leslie Neulander’s muscles were stiffening in a process called rigor mortis. In fact, the medics reported that her jaw was so rigid that they were unable to insert an airway. The neck and shoulder were also stiff. Baden estimated the jaw would take 2 hours to stiffen after death and smaller muscles 5-6 hours.

The body wedged into a space between the bed and nightstand: Prosecutors have said that the doctor’s own actions – carrying and dragging his injured wife 50 feet from the bathroom to the bedroom – are proof of a guilty conscience and cover-up. They believe the doctor placed his wife in an odd location against the night stand and bed to cover up blood and other evidence from an earlier attack. The doctor gave numerous explanations to police for moving his wife. He told them at one point that it was cold in the bathroom. Later he said there was not enough light to help her. Another time he said he moved her because the floor was slippery.

NEULANDER BEDROOM

The adult daughter of the Neulanders – Jenna – entered the bedroom through the doorway when her dad called for help. She called 911 and told the dispatcher that “there is blood everywhere!” However, at that point she could not see her mother, who  was lying on the floor in the bathroom 50 feet away around a corner. The doctor was dragging her body toward the bedroom. If she fell in the shower, why was there blood all over the walls in the bedroom?

NEULANDER BEDROOM 2

All of the items on the nightstand had blood spatters, EXCEPT the white coffee cup.

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Onondaga County District Attorney William Fitzpatrick’s radio comments:

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Leslie Neulander in happier times
Leslie London Neulander

Leslie London Neulander was an inspiration, her children say. She inspired them to become social, original and confident adults – who had compassion for others. Those are among the revelations in this video made by Neulander’s children on the occasion of her 60th birthday.

Neulander died at age 61, and an Onondaga County jury says her doctor husband killed her in September 2012. Robert Neulander, 63, was found guilty of second degree murder and tampering with evidence. Click here for more on the verdict. Prosecutors say Neulander killed his wife and staged the scene in their master bedroom and bathroom to make it appear as if his wife had taken a deadly fall in the shower. 

Leslie Neulander’s obituary calls her “a devoted and beloved member of Syracuse area charities.”

Neulander was known for giving back to the Central New York community – and beyond.

She served on the Board of Hillel of S.U., the Jewish Community Foundation and Vera House. Neulander traveled to the Gulf coast after Hurricane Katrina with Operation Southern Comfort to rebuild homes.

She was a longtime supporter of The Syracuse Stage and Symphony, the Jewish Community Center, Syracuse Hebrew Day School and The Rabbi Epstein Hebrew High School. She was a member of Temple Concord.

(We thank New York’s CBSNews5 investigative reporter Michael Benny for his research in his case)

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Doctor Robert Neulander Trial: Who Said What

Robert Neulander and daughter Jenna
Robert Neulander and daughter Jenna

Now that this case is over – at least all but the sentencing, which is due on May 1 – some of you may be interested in the court testimony. Here is a list of key players and what they had to say while under oath:

Witnesses for the Prosecution

William McGarrity * EMS first responder. He was the first outsider to see the death scene
Jamie Piekowski & Valerie Fleming * Paramedics who assessed Leslie Neulander’s condition
Chase Bilodeau * First  police officer to arrive on-scene
Michael Kurgan * CSI technician
Doctor Robert Stoppacher * Medical examiner who initially ruled this an “accidental death”
Doctor Michael Baden * Forensic pathologist, testified that the decedent Leslie died as the result of a homicide, not a fall
Doctor Jan Leestma * Neuropathologist, testified that the physical injuries did not match a simple fall in a shower
Bozana Smith * Housekeeper stated the bed sheets had been changed by someone else
Officer Lucas Byron * CSI technician
Margaret Karim * Neulander friend who said Leslie once fell at a wedding
Sheila Gentile * DNA expert testified that the bedroom blood was Leslie’s
Karen Green * Blood spatter expert
Doctor Tracey Corey * Medical examiner from out of state, whose opinion was the death had to be at the hands of another person

Witnesses for the Defense

Joanne London  * Sister of Leslie Neulander
Philip Miller *  Close friend of the Neulanders
Ari Neulander * Adult son of the Neulanders
Paul Kish * Blood spatter expert, said evidence did not necessarily indicate a murder scene
Doctor Daniel Spitz * medical examiner who believes Leslie Neulander most likely fell in the shower
Terry Wilson * Leslie Neulander’s personal trainer
Jenna Neulander * Neulanders’ adult daughter and first person in the bathroom

(We are indebted to Syracuse Investigative Reporter Douglass Douty for his excellent coverage of this case)

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Doctor Robert Neulander Found Guilty in Wife’s Murder

Dr Robert Neulander
Dr Robert Neulander

“When police arrived, they found the couple’s bedroom splattered with blood. Robert Neulander told investigators his wife had accidentally slipped while in the shower and he had carried her into the bedroom.”

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In Syracuse, New York a superior court jury has just found Doctor Robert M. Neulander guilty of killing his wife. The jury – six women and six men – had been in deliberations over the past 4 days.

Neulander, a very well known ob/gyn specialist who is believed to have delivered thousands of babies in New York state, stared straight ahead as the verdict was announced. He was convicted of killing his wife and then altering the murder scene to make the death appear as a fall in the shower. He was found guilty of second-degree murder, as well as tampering with evidence.

Leslie Neulander was found dead by EMS medics and police on the morning of Sept. 17, 2012 in their DeWitt home.

Leslie Neulander in happier times
Leslie Neulander in happier times

The case was so unusual that the courtroom overflowed from the very beginning, to the point that a second courtroom was provided for the audience to watch the proceedings on a closed-circuit video screen.

Neulander, who will be held without bail until his sentencing next month, was handcuffed and taken away immediately.

Neulander’s daughter Jenna, age 25, testified that she was home on the day her mother died. She supported her father’s account that her mother had died in the shower.

The jury announced their verdict at 10:45 this morning, EST. Police officer presence was increased in the courtroom just before the verdict was read, with eight of them arriving in the small courtroom.

During happier times, Leslie Neulander was known to have taken the lead in numerous fundraising events at the Syracuse Hebrew Day School in DeWitt.

Her husband was involved with the Jewish Community Center, with a key role in the addition of the Center’s sports & fitness center, named after him.

Here’s another look at this case:

http://abcnews.go.com/US/wireStory/ny-doctor-convicted-killing-estranged-wife-mansion-30065576

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Another Day – Another Indian-born Doctor Drug Dealer

In the world of Paramedics, we call them “Third World Assassins” 

Dr Nibedita Mohanty
Dr Nibedita Mohanty

In Fredericksburg Virginia yet another Indian-American physician now faces decades in prison after being charged with nearly 100 felonies, including killing at least one patient.

Doctor Nibedita Mohanty, who previously served as Chief of Medicine at Stafford Hospitalwas taken from her office in handcuffs after being arrested for prescribing thousands upon thousands of narcotic pills to known drug addicts and drug dealers. In addition to the Homicide, the warrant for her arrest listed 22 counts of Insurance Theft and more than 70 counts of Narcotic Distribution.

The Stafford County Sheriff’s Office reports that in one case alone, Mohanty, age 54, illegally sold thousands of doses of narcotics to a 41-year-old patient while knowing that he was an addict. The man died in 2012. His autopsy report revealed acute levels of antidepressants and oxycodone in his system. The Homicide charge stems from  “a death by overdose, directly related to Mohanty’s routine of over-prescribing narcotics.”

Investigators initially began looking into Mohanty’s clinic in 2011. Her office and home were subsequently raided and the State Medical Board suspended her medical license one year ago.

Stafford Circuit Court records show that Mohanty’s clinic was in fact a “pill mill” where drug dealers and addicts knew they could easily “score” for cash. Both the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration and the FBI joined the Stafford County Sheriff’s Office in the case, which turned up as many as 50 witnesses against the wayward doctor.

According to witnesses, “she’ll prescribe any drug you want for $250.”

A Virginia State search warrant of the doctor’s office, in February, 2013, turned up the following:

  • $28,800 in cash found in the doctor’s desk
  • $7,300 in cash found in the doctor’s purse
  • $3,075 in cash was found in a bank deposit container

(The case was investigated by the Stafford County Sheriff’s Office, and the FBI’s Richmond and Washington Field Offices. Assistant U.S. Attorney Gene Rossi and Special Assistant U.S. Attorneys Jennifer Ballantyne and Nicole Grosnoff are prosecutors.)

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Case Update:

 Virginia doctor Nibedita Mohanty has changed her “not guilty” plea to “guilty” in U.S. District Court for the eastern district of Virginia, according to FBI sources.

Mohanty, the Stafford Hospital Chief of Medicine from 2009-2013, admitted to two chargess that she illegally prescribed and distributed narcotics from 2009 to 2011.

She also confessed to one count of health care fraud. The prosecution dismissed 40 other charges.

The two distribution counts carry a prison sentence from 30 months to 7 years.

The maximum penalty for health care fraud is imprisonment for 10 years, a fine of $250,000.

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Here’s another view of this case:

http://www.fbi.gov/richmond/press-releases/2015/stafford-doctor-pleads-guilty-to-distribution-of-oxycodone-and-health-care-fraud

Paramedics Help Solve Murder by Refusing Doctor’s Order

 

Dr Robert Ferrante
Doctor Robert Ferrante

A University of Pittsburgh doctor was found guilty of poisoning his doctor-wife last November. And two weeks ago he learned he will be spending the rest of his life in a Pennsylvania state prison.

An Allegheny County jury of four women and eight men reviewed the facts of the case for 15 hours before convicting Doctor Robert Joseph Ferrante in the cyanide death of his wife, Doctor Autumn Marie Klein. Their verdict was unanimous.

Dr Autumn Marie Klein
Doctor Autumn Marie Klein

But a lesser-known fact in this case is this: had it not been for the sworn testimony of the two Paramedics who initially treated her, the case might never have gone to trial. Briefly, here’s why:

As his dying wife lay gasping for air on the kitchen floor on the night of the poisoning, Doctor Ferrante told the medics that he wanted them to transport her to a smaller, less-sophisticated hospital called Shadyside.  Under the circumstances, this was a ridiculous demand. Even non-medical citizens in the Pittsburgh area were aware of what Ferrante and the Paramedics knew: that University of Pittsburgh Medical Center, where the couple worked, was not only several minutes closer. It is a trauma center, far better equipped to handle critical patients, especially late at night.

Although Paramedics are routinely in charge of a medical scene, in our experience, very few possess the intestinal fortitude to countermand a physician whose wife is dying on a kitchen floor. But these medics were adamant that their patient go the most appropriate ER, and that is exactly what they did.

Shortly after the patient was admitted into the hospital, an MD ordered a blood test, which revealed an oddly high level of acid. On a hunch, the doctor then ordered the specific test for cyanide poisoning. It is highly unlikely that this check for cyanide poisoning – an extremely rare event – would have even been done at the smaller hospital, where Robert Ferrante wanted his wife taken.

Doctor Klein died on April 20, 2013. Three days later, at Dr. Ferrante’s insistence, her body was cremated. As a result, there was no autopsy.

Doctor Karl Williams, the Allegheny County Medical Examiner, based on the toxicology reports, determined that Doctor Klein had died of cyanide poisoning. The forensic pathologist ruled her death a homicide.

Cyanide kills by blocking oxygen to the cells. A lethal dose for a healthy adult can be as small as 200 milligrams – about the size of a drop of water. The poison acts quickly and is nearly undetectable almost immediately after ingestion. Had samples of Doctor Klein’s blood not been taken quickly, there would have been no real physical evidence of poisoning.

Much later, the medics testified that as they were caring for the lady on the floor, they noticed she was lying next to a plastic bag, which Ferrante said contained creatine, and a small glass vial.

Prosecutors were able to prove that Doctor Klein had swallowed cyanide-laced creatine that Ferrante had mixed into her energy drink just minutes before she collapsed.

After the trial jurors told the news media that testimony of the Paramedics was one of the key aspects of the circumstantial case that convinced them of the murderous doctor’s guilt.

In the end, the Pittsburgh-area Paramedics were not able to save this woman’s life. But they certainly helped prevent yet another lab coat lunatic from getting away with murder.

So in our view, this case underscores the fact that EMS professionals often benefit society in far more ways than the obvious. And one way is to dig their boots into the floor in the heat of crisis, stare rotten physicians directly in the eye and say, “No.”

Pity how few are willing to do so. Thus, the EMS conundrum continues . . . .

Here’s more on this all-too-common, ‘doctor kills wife’ murder case:

http://www.post-gazette.com/local/city/2014/10/29/Testimony-in-Ferrante-trial-focuses-on-cyanide-levels/stories/201410290191

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