Here is a link to the San Antonio Express-News story about the Capt. Fontana court-martial motions session.  As the story reports, “Fontana is charged with murder in the deaths of three “end of life” patients in Wilford Hall Medical Center’s intensive care unit.  His court-martial is set to begin Nov. 16.”   See CAAFlog coverage here and here.  Apparently the IO recommended charges in only one murder, but the CA referred murder charges in all three cases.  Summarizing one of the more novel defense motions I have seen, the story says:

Lawyers for an Air Force nurse accused of going on a killing spree last year won a motion Tuesday to have witnesses testifying against him evaluated by a psychologist. . . .

[Defense counsel Maj. Michael] Coco raised concerns about the testimony of other doctors and nurses that he said has been inconsistent.

Some of them, while grappling with guilt over the patients’ deaths, may have altered their memory of events after news reports began portraying Fontana as a possible serial killer, he said.

In addition to military counsel, the defense team for Fontana has quite an array of talents, “Fontana has two civilians on his defense team:  Carol Birch, a lawyer with civil litigation experience, and Elizabeth Higginbotham, a nurse, lawyer and former assistant general counsel with the Texas Board of Nursing.”  Birch apparently has health care law experience, which outwardly seems like a good call by the defense team.

3 Responses to “Air Force Euthansia Court-Martial Opens”

  1. Anonymous says:

    Sounds like a very talented, perhaps uniquely so for this case, defense team.

  2. Christopher Mathews says:

    Sounds like an interesting decision by the trial judge, and I’d really like to know the legal basis for it. Perhaps all accuseds should make the same motion — “They’re sayin’ I did something wrong, Your Honor. Maybe they’re not quite right in the head, if you take my meaning.”

  3. Anonymous says:

    if the scenario is, at the time they said everything was copasetic but now they are saying, after much apparent trauma and guilt that maybe they were murdered, then a psychologist might be appropriate.

    I agree it is novel.