CHE MlU-il AN UIL~iY
1"uesday, June 7, 1971
Paae Six fl-tic MIt,,t-t;,,AN L)AILY Cuesday, June), 1971
VA prosecution case weak
By KEITH B. RICHBURG jected to the testimony as being repetitive and cumula- EXPERTS TESTIFIED that the Pavulon had
Irailay News Analysis tive. administered to Hogan rapidly, only minutes befor
Ever since the Veterans Administration (VA) murder The prosecution was even able to find a qualified patient was found.
trial opened in Mar-ch the prosecution has been plagued expert witness to tell the jury that the breathing failures Another witness was visiting her husband in thet
by the absence of srong testimony directly liking the were nothing short of rpurder. Dr. Michael Baden of next door to 73-year-old John Herman, the night
defendants to the poisonings, and no mention of a the New York medical examiner's office, an expert on man stopped breathing. The witness saw Perez
motive,. poisonings, who has personally done more than 10,000 Narciso both on the floor that night, but said th
These points will surety be raised today when attor- autopsies, said that the VA patients stopped breathing was after Herman's respiratory failure, not before.
neys for both sides argue a defense motion to dismiss "due to acute Pavulon poisoning due to unauthorized In, the breathing failure of 59-year-old Adam OR
the case against Leonora Perez and Filipina Narciso. administration of the drug Pavulon." VA nurse Elizabeth Ann Campbell said "I never
PI N (+Tricn np Mr OClb a'c "n~n1 A rha
PEREZ AND NARCISCO are charged with two counts
of murder, seven counts of poisoning, and one count of
conspiracy in the attacks.
When defense lawyers filed the motion on Friday,
they said that federal prosecutors had failed to prove
their case beyond a reasonable doubt.
The prosecution rested its case Wednesday after nine
weeks of testimony from 78 witnesses. The government
was attempting to prove that Narciso and Perez were
responsible for a series of breathing failures at the Ann
Arbor VA hospital during the summer of 1975. Prosecu-
tors alleged that the two women-both intensive care
unit nurses and both citizens of the Philippines-inject-
ed the muscle-relaxant Pavulon into the patients' intra-
venous (IV) medication tubes.
TIIROUGHOUT the nine weeks of testimony, prose-
cutors easily found experts to testify that the myster-
ious breathing failures were drug related. And the
government had so many witnesses testify that the drug
Pavulon was apparently used, that the defense ob-
But conspicuously absent from the government's case
is equally strong testimony to prove that the two nurses
charged are the ones' who committed the crimes.
Also absent is a motive for the poisonings.
LINKING NARCISO and Perez to the poisonings re-
quired the testimony of witnesses at the scene before
each breathing failure. Experts had testified that the
Pavulon had to have been administered moments before
each patient was found, and the prosecutors needed
only to prove that Narciso and/or Perez was the last
person seen with each victim.
But faculty memories and conflicting testimony had
some of the government's own witnesses testifying that
they didn't remember even seeing the defendants on
the days in question.
Testifying about the breathing failure of Mirk Hogan,
a 75-year-old heart patient, one witness placed Leonora
Perez with the patient a full hour and a half before he
stopped breathing.- The witness testified that Perez
later said "You know I was just with the patient. He
was eating and doing just fine."
. i. ( arciso) enterm r. uierg s room. Anorner VA
nurse, Pat Thomas, testified that she and Narciso to-
gether found Olberg not breathing, and she hadn't seen
Narciso anywhere on the floor before that.
THE STRONGEST testimony against the nurses was
that which placed them at the scene moments before
the breathing failures in the case of patients Charles
Gasmire, Bennie Blaine, John McCrery and William
Gasmire's son John testified that he saw Perez in his
father's room just as the older Gasmire bolted up in
bed fighting for breath. Young Gasmire said that while
he yelled for help, Perez stood at the bedside "kind of
Defense attorneys later referred to the Gasmire tes-
timony as the prosecution's "best shot."
The sister of VA patient Bennie Blaine said that she
left Perez in Blaine's room "monkeying with his IV
tubes that were hanging there." Before the witness
wailked down the hall, Blaine suffered a breathing
See VA, Page 10
Gas Co. asks plan's OK
Sirica decides Haldeman,
Mitchell must do jail time
(Continued froe Psge 33
stuff and would allow Michi-
gan Consolidated customers to
have insulation and furnace re-
trofit devices installed in their
homes with a five-year period
to reimburse the company. The
utility is asking the MPSC to
.lummer Hourn: I
61 Church A 995.5955 ,
approve a commodity charge
to recover program costs.
"THE CUSTOMER'S annual
bill during each year of the
program for gas, including the
commodity charge and repay-
ment of the insulation and re-
trofit costs should be less than
his annual bill would have been
without the program, Mont-
gomery stated. "Once the cost
of the insulation and retrofits
has been paid in full, the cus-
tomer's bill will continue to be
substantially less every year
than it would be without the
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(continuedfromPage1) Haldeman, 50, who wielded
When Mitchell enters prison immense power as chief of staff
somewhere in the easterrr Unit-to President Richard Nixon,
soew e in the ste- Uitswill report to a minimum secur-
ed States, he will be the first ity facility at Lompoc; Calif,
attorney general in American JOHN EHRLICHMAN, the
history to be incarcerated. third member of what an ap-
(Continued from Page 3)
to grant unborn offspring human rights under the 5th and 14th
"The whole idea is to ban abortion, but it will also ban con-
traception," Kefauver contended. Contraceptives such as the. IUD
and the pill would be banned because they prevent the implanta-
tion of the fertilized egg, she said.
NOW's position is that a woman's right to choose abortion is
her most fundamental democratic right and is considered to be
the cornerstone of the woman's movement.
In further action, Michigan NOW affirmed its active support
for the resolution on lesbian and gay rights passed at the 1977
National NOW convention. The members also resolved to work
toward the granting of lesbian and gay rights by educating chap-
ters on gay rights issues and setting up a task force in Michigan
to work for the enactment of gay rights legislation.
peals court called "a wide-rang-
ing conspiracy," already has
served eight months of his 2%/s-
to-8-year prison sentence -
the same as Sirica imposed on
Haldeman and Mitchell. Ehr-
lichman is at a work camp in
Haldeman told reporters he
is far along in a book to be pub-
lisled this fall, giving his ver-
sion of the cover-up. He has
said his version differs from
Asked if that meant a split
between the former compan-
ions, Haldeman replied: "It
meant exactly what I said. I've
got a lot to say and I'm going to
say it in the honk."
MITCHELL. also is writing a
book, but its subject matter is
Unless their lawyers succeed
in getting the sentencesreduc-
ed, both men must serve a
minimum of 2 years for con-
spiring to cover up the biggest
political scandal in American
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