By Peter Laird, MD
Some of the most explosive testimony from defense witnesses rocked the Lufkin courthouse today as reported in news reports. The testimony ranged from accusations that one of the nurses testifying against the defendant harassed the witness and her husband and even sent a clear liquid in a syringe one time. Another witness corroborated the defense story of using syringes to measure bleach as well as placing bleach towelettes for cleaning in areas where the bleach could drip onto blood lines and into the sharps box. One of those that wanted to testify today presented her testimony without the jury present. The judge ruled her testimony irrelevant to the case and she was dismissed. I wonder how many people believe that the following testimony is irrelevant:
The defense called upon Vicky Sheffer, who testified that, she worked, cleaning the Lufkin DaVita Clinic.
She said she cleaned the clinic on April 28, the night the clinic closed.
"I personally threw away three bags myself," said Sheffer "It was enough that we could not shut the lids."
She said it was obvious to tell the bags had shredded paper because the shreds were coming out the top of the bags. Also, the bags, the witness testified, were not heavy.
"It was very dirty," said Sheffer.
She testified that there was human feces on the floor, some machines were leaking and there was evidence of urine in some of the chairs.
"Sometimes it would be sticky stuff, but majority, it was white," said Sheffer as she described what she saw during cleaning.
Deaton asked Sheffer about finding blood and bloodlines at the facility.
"Blood from the front of the lobby all the way to the back, drops of blood. I did find IVs in the sink," said Sheffer.
Sheffer said she would have to pick up bleach bottles off the floor and measuring cups, which could be missing or on the floor as well. She said if she found blood on the chairs, they weren't made to clean it, so it would be left there. Sheffer said she cleaned the facility once a day.
I believe it is important for the jury to hear the truth and the whole truth of this case. Time after time the judge has ruled potentially important defense evidence not admissible such as not allowing the internal DaVita investigation stating it was irrelevant and likewise not allowing the potentially derogatory Lufkin DaVita state inspection that found serious excursions from acceptable medical practice.
Ultimately, in the end, if the defendant is convicted and given a capital punishment sentence, I believe that there may be several restrictive rulings that could lead to a new trial on appeal. I also personally believe that there is overwhelming evidence exhonorating Kimberly Saenz of all these charges and abundant evidence in my opinion to support speculation and perhaps more than speculation of destruction of evidence by DaVita employees as the defense claims. After all, the janitor knows what she put into the trash bins the day the clinic closed and testifies that they were shredded documents and so many that they couldn't close the lid on the trash bin. How the jury will see this case will remain unknown until they have their moment to reveal it to the public.