Robert's Story
Online Petition
Court Transcripts
Legal Page

Mr. Schwartz and Mr. Gettleman are the Attorneys for Robert Wideman.  Ms. Spangler works in the District Attorney's Office, State of Pennsylvania.  As with all Court Transcripts, the numbers on the left are the line numbers in the documents. Q= Question   A= Answer  
Main Testimony is in Bold --The Reader can just Scroll and read only the Bold Testimony!

Page 128

24 Q: Last document, Doctor Wecht, could you tell us what

25 that is an authentication of?

Page 129
1 A: This is a case summary from the Allegheny County

2 Coroner's Office which sets forth the ultimate

3 disposition of the case insofar as the coroner’s office

4 is concerned, and it also lists the names of the

5 individuals in law enforcement who have been involved

6 in the case who were witnesses then at the inquest.

7 MS. SPANGLER: No objection, Your Honor.

8 THE COURT: All right.

9 MR. SCHWARTZ: I would move the admission of

10 P-34, Your Honor. 

11 THE COURT: We will admit that into evidence.


13 Q: Now, Doctor Wecht, you understand that you are here,

14 that you have been called as an expert witness by me?

15 A: Yes.

16 Q: And we have put your credentials into evidence and your

17 vitae into evidence. Is there anything that -would

18 you just tell me generally, after the fact that this

19 has all been stipulated to, what your credentials are

20 to serve as such in a matter such as this, or shall we

21 go with just what we have?

22 MS. SPANGLER: The Commonwealth has already

23 advised counsel we will stipulate to his

24 credentials as coroner and as an expert in the

25 medical field.

Page 130
1 THE COURT: All right.


3 Q: Doctor Wecht, the various documents that I have shown

4 you that I have entered into evidence, you are familiar

5 with those and you have examined them prior to today? 

6 A: Yes.

7 Q: And those constitute the complete file of the coroner's

8 office as you know it?

9 A: Yes, as far as I am aware, except for, well, the file,

10 there were slides, but those are the paper documents.

11 Q: Are you familiar with the transcript in the case of

12 Anthony Morena versus South Hills Health System, Doctor

13 Van Thiel, Doctor Martin, Blair Haynes, Bill McDoodle

14 and the City of Pittsburgh?

15 A: Yes.

16 Q: And did you have an opportunity to review the

17 transcript in that matter?

18 A: Yes.

19 Q: Doctor Wecht, could you read, because I think it is the

20 shortest way to proceed in this, the report that you

21 presented to me on this matter in conjunction with your

22 review as an expert witness of the materials.

23 A: In report dated October 14th, 1998, from me to you

24 reads as follows.

25 MS. SPANGLER: If I could, which document are

Page 131
1 we referring to again?

2 MR. SCHWARTZ: This is the first document,

3 which would be P-21, his opinion.

4 MS. SPANGLER: Okay. Thank you.

5 THE COURT: P-23, isnt it?

6 MR. SCHWARTZ: I’m sorry, it is P-23, his

7 opinion.

8 MS. SPANGLER: Your Honor, I am going to raise

9 my prior objection to the witness reading into the

10 transcript a document that‘s already been admitted

11 into the evidentiary record.

12 THE COURT: There is no harm that can come

13 from it.

14 MR. SCHWARTZ: I would have asked him in the

15 alternative to summarize it. I think it is easier

16 for him to read it for the Court‘s consideration.

17 THE COURT: How long is it?

18 MR. SCHWARTZ: It is a page and a half.

19 A: Dear Mr. Schwartz, pursuant to your request, I have

20 reviewed the investigative reports, hospital records,

21 postmortem protocol, microscopic autopsy, tissue

22 slides and other relevant documents in the above named

23 case, including the transcript in a civil case of

24 Morena v. South Hills Health System, et al, GD 76-4242.

25 At the completion of my evaluation, an analysis of

Page 132
all these materials, it is my professional opinion 

based upon a reasonable degree of medical certainty 

that Mr. Nicola Morena's death was directly caused by 

several acts of professional medical negligence

subsequent to his having been shot.

6 It is my opinion that Mr. Morena’s death would

definitely have been prevented if the following acts of 

negligence had not occurred

9 No.1, Saint Joseph's Hospital Emergency Room was

10 not appropriately equipped to deal with penetrating

11 gunshot wounds of the chest requiring immediate

12 intervention by an experienced thoracic surgeon.

13 The hospital should have informed the police and

14 ambulance crew involved in this case of that fact in a

15 clear and timely fashion.

16 No. 2, the medical personnel at Saint Joseph’s

17 hospital should have immediately referred Mr. Morena to

18 the closest hospital that did have appropriate

19 facilities and personnel in the field of thoracic

20 surgery.

21 The hospital personnel did not act expeditiously

22 in arranging for this transfer.

23 No. 3, Saint Joseph’s Hospital medical personnel

24 did not initiate appropriate and necessary therapeutic

25 measures during the transportation of Mr. Morena.

Page 133
1 Blood products and other intravenous fluids were

2 essential at this time.

3 No. 4, the City of Pittsburgh paramedics were

4 negligent in having taken Mr. Morena to Saint Joseph’s

5 Hospital in the first place.

6 Certainly, of all individuals who should be

7 knowledgeable as to which hospitals are equipped to

8 deal with certain kinds of injuries, e.g., penetrating

9 gunshot wounds of the thoracic cavity, governmental

10 paramedics should head the list.

11 In conclusion, it is my professional opinion based

12 upon a reasonable degree of medical certainty that the

13 gunshot wound in and of itself was not the cause of 

14 fatality and that it was the negligent acts and 

15 omissions of other people subsequent to the shooting in 

16 this case which were the cause of Mr. Morena's death.

17 Signed by me. 
18 Q: Let’s take a look specifically at just a few points

19 that might be beneath your conclusions and your

20 examination.

21 One, your first paragraph wherein you state that

22 Saint Joseph’s Hospital Emergency Room wasn’t

23 appropriately equipped to deal with penetrating gunshot

24 wounds.

25 Strike the question. Let me back up.

Page 134
1 The two periods of time here, Doctor Wecht, do I

2 understand that when you are talking about reasonable

3 degree of medical certainty as well as standards of

4 care with respect to treatment, transport, emergency

5 room procedures, you are talking, are you not, about

6 standards for 1975, not standards for the present time?

7 A: Yes.

8 Q: So now that we understand that we are relating back to

9 what you think was proper or improper adherence to

10 those standards in 1975, let me begin a brief course of

11 questions.

12 First, let’s talk about Saint Joseph’s Hospital

13 Emergency Room. You said it wasn’t appropriately

14 equipped to deal with penetrating gunshot wounds of the

15 chest requiring immediate intervention by an

16 experienced thoracic surgeon.

17 As a Pittsburgher, if you had known, and as a

18 physician, if you had known of a circumstance wherein

19 there is a gunshot wound in the vicinity where there

20 was, would you have suggested that the patient end up

21 at Saint Joseph’s Hospital?

22A:No, definitely not.

23Q: Why?

24 A: Because I am familiar with the hospitals in the

25 Pittsburgh area going back to my medical school days

Page 135
1 and in my moonlighting days when I was a resident in

2 pathology at the VA Hospital, during those last couple

3 of years in medical school, I worked at Saint Francis

4 General Hospital, some of my classmates worked at Saint

5 Joseph’s Hospital, and then had a couple of classmates

6 who interned there, and a good friend, very good

7 friend, still today, who was the pathologist at Saint

8 Joseph’s Hospital, and I knew some of the doctors on

9 the staff. So I had a good knowledge. And then in

10 later years, in the coroner’s office as chief forensic

11 pathologist for four years,  '66 to '70, and then as

12 coroner from '7O to '80, but let’s talk about the period

13 of '7O to '75 or so, I obviously acquired additional

14 knowledge and developed I think a pretty good sense of

15 what went on at different hospitals, what the various

16 hospitals were capable of dealing with, where people

17 were taken for different kinds of significant trauma,

18 blunt force injuries, perforating, penetrating injuries

19 and so on.

20 The answer, then, to your question is Saint

21 Joseph’s Hospital was a nice little hospital. They did

22 a good job, but they didn't have the equipment, the

23 personnel to deal with sucking wounds as we referred to

24 them, somewhat colloquially, penetrating, perforating

25 wounds of the chest. This requires an expertise. You

Page 136
1 must have a board certified skilled thoracic surgeon,

2 you must be ready to intervene to do what is essential

3 surgery. You must have the appropriate back up both by

4 way of medical and nursing personnel to stabilize. You

5 have to have the people on board by way of in-house

6 residents, interns or trained staff physicians to deal

7 with these things immediately. So it is just not a

8 hospital that would have been considered as an

9 appropriate facility for a wound of this nature.

10 Q: Should he have gone to Mercy Hospital in the first

11 instance given the proximity and the exactness of

12 Downtown Pittsburgh and its medical facilities?

13 A: Yes.

14 You know, I grew up on the other side of the

15 river. I have a good idea of the geography here.

16 THE COURT: Tell me the geography. Where did

17 the wound occur?

l8 THE WITNESS: Where, Your Honor?

19 THE COURT: Where did it occur?

20 THE WITNESS: The wound entered the back.

21 THE COURT: Geographically in Allegheny

22 County.

23 THE WITNESS: The injury, the wound was in

24 the --

25 MR. SCHWARTZ: Close to Route 51?

Page 137
1 THE WITNESS: Route 51, just beyond what

2 would be called --

3 THE COURT: Tambellini’s?

4 THE WITNESS: Beyond that, beyond

5 Tambellini’s.

6 THE COURT: Still in the City of

7 Pittsburgh?

8 THE WITNESS: Yes, Your Honor.

9 THE COURT: Did they in fact go to the

10 nearest hospital?

11 THE WITNESS: Saw Mill Run Boulevard, Your

12 Honor, Route 51. You come down, then, Your Honor

13 Route 51. You are on that side of the river,

14 Carson Street. You have to -- actually, I’m just

15 thinking, just wondering even if they passed South

16 Side Hospital on their way to Saint Joseph’s. But I

17 guess if they came in from the other side, but it

18 was on Saw Mill Run Boulevard just past

19 Tambellini’s, but in the City of Pittsburgh, yes.

20 MR. SCHWARTZ: I believe exhibit P-24 --

21 THE WITNESS: I just wanted to make the

22 point, Your Honor, Saint Joseph’s is a block from

23 Brady Street Bridge and then ten blocks to Mercy

24 Hospital from there, and in an ambulance you are

25 talking maybe two minutes.

Page 138
1 THE COURT: Okay.


3 Q: So you said that this was not the hospital to go to for

4 a wound of this sort?

5 A: Yes.

6 Q: And that Mercy Hospital would have been the appropriate

7 and more expeditious place?

8 A: The University of Pittsburgh, too, was equidistant,

9 just a little further. Mercy a little closer. Yes,

10 either one.

11 Q: And since we are talking about Pittsburgh geography in

12 going from the scene of the shooting to even the

13 University of Pittsburgh Hospital or you could probably

14 even go as far as Fox Chapel, if you had an hour, you

15 could make any of those hospitals, couldn’t you?

16 A: I wouldn’t say that you have an hour here in this case.

17 Q: I’m saying hypothetically. If from point A to the, if

18 one had an hour’s worth of time, I’m not saying in

19 terms of what medically would be required, but I’m

20 saying that it certainly doesn’t take an hour to get

21 from the point where the shot was to the University of

22 Pittsburgh Medical Center, for example.

23 A: Oh, no.

24 Q: In 1975, was it common for hospitals in the City of

25 Pittsburgh to have the special tube that thoracic

Page 139
1 surgeons would use or a pin to relieve pressure?

2 A: Yes. Tubes for insertion into the chest certainly

3 would have been the standard.

4 Q: And can you tell me what this matter is with respect to

5 designation in Pittsburgh of trauma centers, when did

6 hospitals get designated as trauma centers, if you

7 know?

8 A: I don’t know the exact year. Probably they were not

9 designated in 1975. I think designations level one,

10 level two, so on, did come later. However, it was well

11 known to police and to paramedics before there were

12 these official designations. I remember this well

13 because, as I say, I interned at St. Francis Hospital

14 and also covered three or four different emergency room

15 hospitals from '57 to '59, South Side, Suburban

16 General, Sewickley and Homestead, and it was understood

17 that you just didn’t bring cases with open head wounds

18 and open chest wounds to these smaller hospitals.

19 Everybody that was in the business knew that.

20 Q: Was everybody who was in the business include

21 paramedics?

22 A: Absolutely.

23 Q: Public paramedics?

24 A: Oh, yes.

25 Q: Private ambulance companies?

Page 140
1 A: Yes. Public even more so. Private ambulances, you

2 know, they would know, but they maybe don’t have as

3 much formal training, involvement, exposure, but they

4 certainly would have come to know if they had been

5 employed for any period of time.

6 Q: You say that Saint Joseph’s medical personnel didn’t

7 initiate appropriate and necessary therapeutic measures

8 during the transportation of Mr. Morena.

9 What measures do you think should have been

10 initiated by the hospital?

11 A: Well, there was required an appropriate drainage tube.

12 He had a hemopneumothorax, blood and air both, as a

13 result of the gunshot wound. That had to be dealt with

14 so that the blood would not accumulate, would not build

15 up and then push over and actually produce pressure on

16 the uninvolved portion of the chest thereby rendering

17 respiratory activity extremely difficult. So that was

18 a key thing. And no tracheal tube, administration of

19 oxygen, appropriate intravenous fluids, including

20 vasopressors, epinephrine to keep the blood pressure

21 elevated and other things, all of those would have been

22 necessary for this kind of a wound.

23 Q: And those all would have been necessary in 1975?

24 A: Yes. The basics haven't changed.

25 Q: This question of gauze and bandage and wrapping,

Page 141
1 depending upon how the wound is packed or gauzed, can

2 the manner of dressing in fact exacerbate the wound as

3 opposed to stabilize a patient?

4 A: Yes, for the reason that I just mentioned. If you

5 actually seal it up, contrary to what you might see in

6 Saving Private Ryan, you are going to really complicate

7 the picture because of the aerodynamics of the chest

8 cavity and the continuing build-up of the blood.

9 Q: Well, then, let’s talk about the aspects of trying to

10 save Nicola Morena instead of Private Ryan.

11 Is it your opinion to a degree of medical

12 certainty that the bandaging in fact did not stabilize

13 him but in fact impaired him and put him in further

14 danger?

15 A: Yes.

16 Q: Do you recall the time frame that it took from the time

17 of the gunshot to the time that Mr. Morena died in

18 Mercy Hospital?

19 A: Yes. I think it was somewhat over two hours. As I

20 recall, the shooting occurred a little 7:20, arrival at

21 Saint Joseph’s at around 7:40, and transfer to Mercy

22 Hospital about 8:35, admitted at Mercy at 8:45 and

23 death at 9:20. So it was -- well, it was exactly two

24 hours from shooting until death.

25 Q: And what do you think his prognosis would have been in

Page 142
1 light of the fact that, if you are familiar with the

2 testimony, that from 7:20 to 8:40 he was joking and

laughing at various times of transportationwhat does

that tell you?

5 A: Well, it tells you a great deal. It tells you that Mr.

6 Morena did not go into shock. It tells you that the

wound he received was not necessarily lethal. It tells

8 you that the bleeding was not of such intensity,

9 magnitude that he was going to exsanguinate or go into

10 hemorrhagic shock.

11 Q: Tell us what exsanguinate and hemorrhagic shock means.

12 A: Exsanguinate means to bleed out and hemorrhagic shock

13 is to go into shock as a result of lack of blood.

14 He could not have functioned, he could not have

15 remained conscious if he had gone into shock. So the

16 period of time in which he was able to be conscious and

17 reasonably alert is the best possible proof that this

18 was a manageable injury if the appropriate treatment had

19 been undertaken in a timely fashion.

20 THE COURT: May I ask you a question at this

21 point in time. You were the coroner of Allegheny

22 County when this happened.

23 THE WITNESS: Yes, Your Honor.

24 THE COURT: If you would have had had the

25 information that you now have that came out of the

Page 143
civil suit, what would have been your findings at

that point in time?

THE WITNESS: This would have been a case,

Your Honor, in which I would have sat down with my

solicitor, who I believe at that time was one of

your colleagues on the bench. I would have sat

down with the District Attorney’s Office and would

have talked it through. I cannot tell you, Your

9 Honor, whether this inquest would have resulted in

10 a charge of homicide. It may have with everything

11 else coming out, with all of the extenuating

12 circumstances and so on.

13 I don’t think that I can say to you here that

14 I would have immediately said, well, this was

15 accidental because of the medical negligence, and,

16 therefore, it is clearly not homicide because

17 homicide generically, legally, medically is a very

18 broad term. I don’t know.

19 I can say this, Your Honor, that had all of

20 this information, any of it, but certainly all of

21 it had come to our attention at that time, it

22 it would have been far different in terms of how we

23 would have handled it, how we would have presented

24 it, how we would have testified in court, and I

25 myself would have wanted to testify in a case of

Page 144 
this nature. 

I can represent to you, Your Honor, that none  

of this was known to us, not anything. We only 

had the basic information. And not to be 

defensive, but there was no need for us to ferret 

out anything more

7 We were told that a man had been shot. He

8 went from hospital A to hospital B. They gave us

9 their findings. We did the autopsy, found the

10 gunshot wound. So there wasn’t any basis for us

11 to be cynical or dubious about anything that had

12 transpired.

13 So it would have been a difficult kind of a

14 case, and I think we would have had to have

15 bounced it over to the District Attorney's Office

16 but with the understanding from us that we would

17 have been testifying about all of these things and

18 they would have to keep that in mind in how they

19 proceeded.

20 THE COURT: You would have testified at the

21 trial that this man died as a result of a

22 treatable injury because of the negligence of

23 medical personnel, the proper care in a timely

24 way.

25 THE WITNESS: Exactly, Your Honor.

Page 145
1 What I'm saying here today, I would have said

2 at that time, and perhaps since I would have been

3 23 years younger, maybe with greater clarity and

4 forcefulness. But I would have, yes, given this

5 testimony. Nothing really has changed.

6 And it is not a matter, Your Honor, really of

7 second guessing myself or having, quite frankly,

8 any conscious or latent subconscious feelings of

9 guilt here because I did not do what we could or

10 should have done. None of this ever came to my

11 attention until rather recently.

12 And what I'm saying here today, I would have

13 said some 23 years ago.

14 MR. SCHWARTZ: Your Honor, on behalf of

15 Robert Wideman, we are not suggesting that the, we

16 were not suggesting that the coroner’s office did

17 anything wrong.

18 THE COURT: I understand that.

19 MR. SCHWARTZ: What we are suggesting is that

20 there is a fact question. And I am glad that you

21 put Doctor Wecht back into his coroner role.

22 Let’s elicit from Doctor Wecht the role of

23 the coroner’s office because I think this should

24 be pursued and I think I understand where he is

25 coming from.

Page 146

2 Q: The coroner’s office, does it not have sort of a hybrid

3 role with respect to the criminal justice system?

4 A: Yes. You could so characterize it in Allegheny County

5 as it has been traditionally practiced in, well, for a

6 long time, but I think more so in recent decades.

7 Q: But even going back to the coroner in England, it is a

8 hybrid role, is it not, where you are a fact finder and

9 you are supposed to investigate suspicious deaths, and

10 at the same time, as a magistrate, you are supposed to

11 make a ruling as part of the Commonwealth and as part

12 of the prosecution in the criminal justice proceeding?

13 A: That’s correct.

14 Q: And is it --

15 MR. GETTLEMAN: Could we have one second.


17 Q: Given that situation and given your role as a

18 committing agency --- and you committed Robert Wideman

19 to a grand jury for a homicide, is that not correct?

20 A: We recommend to the District Attorney’s Office, yes.

21 Q: And then you would have had, and I think what your

22 testimony was, that you would have worked with the

23 District Attorney’s Office in deciding what charges

24 might properly be brought, is that correct?

25 A: Well, no. They would make that decision. I don’t have

Page 147
1 direct input into their official decision-making

2 process, but, you know, they must rely upon us for the

3 medical evidence and they must know where they stand in

4 going ahead with the trial. They can’t start a trial

5 and not know these things or in some way believe that

6 they can finesse them. So that’s how the system works.

7 Q: But by statute, you are supposed to cooperate with

8 them.

9 A: By statute, I guess so.

10 Q: By statute.

11 A: I guess --

12 Q: Thank you. Is that a yes?

13 A: Yes.

14 Q: Now, given the fact that they have to rely on your

15 testimony, if you had known then what you know now, is

16 it fair to say that when you would have met with them,

17 as you said to the Judge, that you would have said

18 there are other questions with respect to causation

19 here?

20 A: Yes. I’m not going to repeat.

21 Q: That’s as far as I’m going to go.

22 A: I would have said what I have said now and I would have

23 answered any further questions, and I would have

24 recommended to them that they get a thoracic surgeon

25 and have him review the case. That’s what I would have

Page 148
1 recommended, too. I would have anticipated

2 conceptually what ultimately emerged in the malpractice

3 case.

4 Q: Let’s go back to your being an expert witness and not

5 the coroner?

6 THE COURT: Excuse me. Let me just go one

7 step further.

8 If there is a new trial in this matter, you

9 yourself would testify and that would be your

10 testimony?

11 THE WITNESS: Exactly, Your Honor.

12 THE COURT: Okay.

13 MS. SPANGLER: I’m sorry, exactly what would

14 be his testimony?

15 THE COURT: The testimony that he has given

16 here today.

17 MS. SPANGLER: That he would have considered

18 this information.

19 THE COURT: I understand that. But that

20 would be his testimony. There are other things to

21 consider that the fact finder never heard in this

22 case. That would be his testimony in a new trial.


24 Q: And you would have said, as you said in your opinion,

25 in and of itself, the gunshot wound was not the cause

Page 149
of the fatality and it was the negligent acts of other

people which were the subsequent cause of Mr. Morena’s


A: That is correct.

Q: And you would say that to a reasonable degree of

medical certainty, would you not?

A: Yes. 

8 I would -- I firmly believe, and I believe that

9 Mr. Morena’s clinical course in that period of time is

10 the best corroboration of the validity of my conclusion

11 that appropriate treatment at an appropriate facility

12 would have resulted in the saving of Mr. Morena’s life.

13 Q: And Mr. Morena’s family, to your knowledge, hired an

14 expert, coincidentally the expert that we heard this

15 morning, to make exactly that point.

16 A: Yes, I have come to learn that just quite recently.

17 I was never contacted in that civil matter.

18 Q:  No. Just from your review of the transcript.

19 A: Yes.

20 Q: Finally, back to you as an expert witness in this case,

21 knowing what you know now, you believe that the

22 evidence is relevant to the issue of causation and that

23 a jury is entitled to hear and consider that kind of

24 evidence.

25 MS. SPANGLER: Objection, Your Honor. I

Page 150
1 don’t know that Doctor Wecht is an expert as to

2 what evidence should go to a jury. He is here to

3 give his expert opinion as a medical expert, not

4 as a legal expert.

THE COURT: Well, this thing may have had a

different course I think is his testimony. What

7 your office may have done, I don’t know. But he

8 did not have the opportunity to communicate to you

9 what their testimony was going to be. And we do

10 know that Doctor Perper did not testify about any

11 of those things, is that right?

12 THE WITNESS: That’s correct.

13 THE COURT: He did not because it was not

14 known to Doctor Perper.

15 MR. GETTLEMAN: So he clearly offered as an

16 opinion as to whether he thinks that that is

17 relevant evidence to the fact finder.

18 THE COURT: They are called upon to say that

19 all the time.


21 Q: Your answer?

22 A: My answer is that I would never withhold this

23 information. I would, as I have already indicated,

24 review it with the District Attorney in advance. And

25 even if the defense attorney were not sufficiently

Page 151
1 adroit and experienced to have appreciated any of this

2 himself, I would have considered it extremely unethical

3 to ever go on the witness stand and just talk about a

4 gunshot wound in and out knowing all these things, if I

5 would have known them, and not expressing them on the

6 witness stand. That would be a terrible thing to do.

7 Q: And would it be relevant for the fact finder to be

8 aware of the negligence of the treating doctors in

9 determining the death of Mr. Morena and wouldn’t it be

10 a factor that the fact finder could and should have

11 considered in arriving at their verdict?

12 MS. SPANGLER: Your Honor, I'm going to note

13 my continuing objection to any questions regarding

14 the fact finder’s role in this case.

15 MR. GETTLEMAN: That goes to the weight, not

16 the admissibility of it.

17 THE COURT: I agree. I will overrule your

18 objection. It is what weight is to be attached to

19 it.

20 A: My answer is from the standpoint of a forensic

21 pathologist working out of the coroner’s office and

22 presenting this kind of a case or any case dealing with

23 the medical issues, that these are matters that I

24 believe would have to be brought to the attention of

25 the presiding judge and the jury. I think not to do

Page 152
that would be, you know, from my standpoint, would be

unethical and immoral, professionally impossible for me

to accept. So it just would not happen. One way or
another, it would not happen.


6 Q: Is your opinion if a tube had been inserted, he would

7 have lived?

8 A: Well, all of the details, the tube and all the other

9 things. I am not a thoracic surgeon and I don’t want

10 to make myself into one. But I have some understanding

11 of these injuries, obviously, and I have seen enough of

12 them, unfortunately, over 37 years. And the answer is

13 more than just a tube, but the tube and other things,

14 yes, he would have lived.

15 Q: Lastly, based upon your expertise, based upon a

16 reasonable degree of medical certainty, do you have

17 have a reasonable degree to believe that the outcome

18 would have been different if you had provided the

19 information that you --

20 MS. SPANGLER: I object to the witness giving

21 an opinion as to the outcome of the trial. He is

22 here to testify in his capacity as a medical

23 expert.

24 MR. GETTLEMAN: And it is that capacity that

25 would allow him to answer that question.

Page 153
1 THE COURT: Well, he would be allowed to

2 answer that question most certainly in front of a

3  jury.

4 MS. SPANGLER: Well, Your Honor, he is not

5 here to say, he can’t say what a jury would do.

6 THE COURT: He can’t say what the jury would

7 do.

8 MS. SPANGLER: That’s what the question

9 asked, Your Honor. The question asks his opinion,

10 his opinion as to what the jury would do, and I

11 think that’s an improper question for him to give

12 his opinion on.

13 MR. GETTLEMAN: Not really because in the

14 realm of after-discovered evidence, we have the

15 burden of showing the verdict, outcome could be

16 different.

17 THE COURT: Doctor Wecht said, I am not a

18 surgeon and I don’t want to make myself into one,

19 but the tube itself would not have been enough, it

20 would have taken the right treatment in a timely

21 fashion, the victim would have lived.

22 THE WITNESS: Yes, Your Honor.

23 THE COURT: And he would have died from the

24 gunshot wound.

25 THE WITNESS: Medically.