Tuesday, August 28, 2007

The Origin of Dr. Baden's AHA Moment

As I was trying to work on an entry that ties together several high profile trials in recent years, I was leisurely reading the Court TV message board and came across a recent post by LegalViewer, a relatively new poster to the Court TV message board. In subsequent postings, they identified themselves as ".. a litigation expert who has just graduated from law school," and also revealed "I have attended as much of the trial as possible. Mainly to try to figure out how one of my musical heroes finds himself in this situation." I think I have an idea who this individual might have been in court, however, since I haven't actually been in court for a week, faces that were not there on a regular basis ~or actually "in my face" with drama~ have become a blur. Regardless, here is the post by LegalViewer on August 20th, that caught my eye. (I did not correct the spelling errors in this post; just copied it verbatim.)

The "AHA" Moment came from the Sabow Case

Dr. Baden has made a living in filling in the blanks needed by a defense team in order to convince a jury that the science supports who ever hired the Dr. Actually, it is my view that Baden and the defense team actually replicated a case including a marine called Sabow. Sabow's death was claimed to be a suicide based on an intraoral gun shot, while Sabow's brother, a doctor, argued vigoursly that Sabow was killed by another person. That defense was borrowed from a case in Alabama were a defendant was found guilty of murder after claiming the victim killed themselves with a gun shot. IN the Alabama case, the defense claimed not enough blood spatter, no GSM on the hands and clothes, the body had too much blood in the lungs, etc.

In the Sabow case, there was a slumped body with heavily filled lungs, a competely cut spinal cord, blood spatter where was not expected to be, no real GMS on the defendant's hands, etc. Dr. Sabow eventually filled a report to the US Government claiming "cover up". I believe some member of the defense team found that case, and "scripted" the "aha" moment. It matches almost word for word what was included in Dr. Sabow's report about his brother's death.

Strange thing, an expert, Dr. Norby was the defense expert in both cases.

This post really got my brain going this morning, so I thank you for that LegalViewer. I kept thinking, Sabow, Sabow, I know I've seen this before on the Court TV forum. I immediately got dini on the phone, and she confirmed to me, that something about the Sabow case was mentioned on one of the daily threads, but she couldn't remember when. My own searching only pulled up a single post back on June 4th, referencing the Sabow case, but it was specific to gunshot residue. Even though the reference was there early on, the post didn't have what I was looking for, in reference to the timing of events in this case. I then contacted two of the best case researchers I know on the Court TV forums, Lynn Gweeny and kellabeck, who have both helped me more times than I can count with information, sources, links, as well as transcriptions of testimony. The prize goes to Lynn Gweeny, who found what I was looking for. It's on the July 30th daily thread, page three, 9:47am PT, and it's by Court TV poster, hockeymomof5.

here are two murder cases that involve intra oral gunshot:



The first one I found to be quite interesting considering the boyfriend pulled the gun and put it to the girl's mouth two weeks previous.

A few pages later, dini quoted hockeymomof5's post, urging everyone to read the links. Here is her post.

WHOA HOH!!! man, everyone needs to go and read the second link. VDM is mentioned.

HOWEVER, the entire report is textbook for this case. it involves an intraoral 12 gauge shotgun "suicide" that will freak you out!!

i swear whole passages have been lifted from this report and superimposed onto this case.

the guy who is refuting the bogus conclusions is a doctor and the brother of the guy who supposedly killed himself.

it is a long read, but very, very worthwhile.

"the shotgun blast destroyed the brain stem. it was severed. All functions below the level of destruction from the spinal cord were immediately lost. every nerve to every muscle fiber that could expand the lungs were immediately paralyzed."

"not a gasp could occur. heart function, breathing and blood pressure control were immediately lost."


I then started to think about the timing of the post by hockeymomof5 to the actual trial. Were there any links? The post was made on July 30th and dini quoted it a few hours later. The very next day, Monday July 31st, during the afternoon session, the defense announces it will be resting it's CIC, without calling Dr. Baden! We are all stunned that the defense may be wrapping up their case sooner than expected. Dr. Baden was in Los Angeles over the weekend, why are they not calling him? Although the defense is going to bring on a few more witnesses, they don't have any more for the day. This move forces the prosecution to start their rebuttal case earlier than expected, and without the defense resting their CIC. At the end of the week, Thursday, August 2nd, Linda Kenney Baden is not in court at the defense table. Spector stands up in court to address the Judge and ask the Judge to delay the trial because his "point person" Linda Kenney Baden is ill. Spector goes on to say that "she explains everything that goes on strategically, and that she handles all the defense. Her position is unique among the defense," and that he needs her. The Judge denies Spector's request saying, "Sorry. We will go forward." Also on that day, it appeared to me that the defense was trying everything it could to delay or even abort all together the prosecution's rebuttal witness, Nili Hudson, who was flying out of Los Angeles that evening, to start her vacation in Fiji.

Fast forward two weeks later, and Dr. Baden is back in California, to testify as part of the defense's CIC. Like a child who is holding back on some mischievous revelation to be brought forth, Chris Plourd gets Dr. Baden's AHA moment, revealed to everyone in the courtroom while he is on the stand. For the first time ever, the Judge and the prosecution hears his new theory on how Lana could have been breathing after the spinal transection, explaining to the court that he "just had this epiphany" a few days ago. No one really believes him, and no one, not even the Judge buys the excuses the defense gives for this blatant discovery violation. Later, the rest of the defense team appears to throw Chris Plourd under the proverbial bus, by trying to distance themselves from any involvement in this latest violation.

My question is this. What caused the defense to change their minds and bring Dr. Baden back to California? What? Could it be, that someone who was getting lots and lots of rest in their hotel room, have been up reading the Internet for any details they could find on intra-oral gunshot wound cases? Hum? Don't kid yourself. Defense and prosecutors (or at least their clerks and representatives) read the Court TV message boards when their case is ongoing. I may just be chasing wabbits here seeing connections where there are none, but I found the coincidence of the sequence of events striking, taking into consideration the fact that LegalViewer feels that Dr. Baden's AHA moment came directly from the Sabow case. It certainly is something to think about.