Virginia Thigpen - Assistant Medical Librarian

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Virginia Thigpen - Assistant Medical Librarian

Postby admin » October 31st, 2010, 5:58 pm

THE COURT: Next witness.

WITNESS SWORN BY THE COURT.

VIRGINIA THIGPEN , a witness called on behalf of the defendant Gertrude Baniszewski,
being duly sworn by the court, testified as followed:

DIRECT EXAMINATION,
QUESTIONS BY MR. WILLIAM ERBECKER, ATTORNEY FOR DEFENDANT,
GERTRUDE BANISZEWSKI

Q. State your name, please.

A. Virginia Thigpen.

Q. Thigpen?

A. That is correct.

Q. Where do you live?

A. 7565 East 52nd.

Q. What is your profession or occupation or business?

A. Assistant Medical Librarian, Marion County General Hospital.

Q. What are your duties at General?

A. I am custodian of all the records made at - medical records made at the hospital.

Q. Now, pursuant to a subpoena for production of hospital records, did you bring one record of one Gertrude Baniszewski?

A. Yes, sir.

Q. Do you have it with you?

A. Yes.

Q. Where was it obtained?

A. From the hospital medical record.

Q. The medical record kept in this particular case?

A. Yes, it is.

Q. Who has custody of that at the hospital?

A. I do.

Q. Will you point out what the record contains that identifies it as being the one relative and pertaining to Gertrude Baniszewski?

A. This is the original record from Indianapolis General Hospital made on a Gertrude Baniszewski, No. 530620-4.

Q. Does it give an address?

A. Yes, it does.

MR. NEW: We object.

THE COURT: Sustained. The answer will go out.

Q. How are the records handled from the time they are begun to the time they are filed, up to and including the present time?

A. Medical records are made by the doctors, nurses, ward clerks on the hospital wards and then assembled in the General Hospital record room, where they are kept in our custody.

Q. Kept in your custody?

A. Yes.

Q. Who has access to the records?

A. Doctors from the hospital and nurses from the hospital, only authorized personnel.

Q. What is the latest entry in that record, the latest date?

A. 3/16/66.

Q. 3/16/66? Does that record contain any records made by Dr. Shuck concerning this case?

MR. NEW: We object.

THE COURT: Sustained.

Q. Are there any entries prior to that in the year 1966?

A. Yes, sir, there are.

Q. Would you give the dates, please?

MR. NEW: We object.

THE COURT: Sustained. The record is the best evidence.

Q. Is there an entry there 5/3/66?

MR. NEW: We object.

THE COURT: Overruled as to that question.

A. No, sir.

Q. How many entries are in that book - strike that question. Are there any entries in there for Gertrude Baniszewski on or about October 26, 1965, up to and including 3/16/66?

MR. NEW: We object.

THE COURT: Objection sustained.

Q. Do you know a person by the name of Gertrude Baniszewski?

A. No, sir.

Q. Did you ever see her?

A. Not to my knowledge, no,

Q. Is that the only record in General Hospital for Gertrude Baniszewski?

A. Yes, sir, it is.

Q. Is there any name confusingly similar to that name out at General Hospital?

MR. NEW: We object.

THE COURT: Sustained.

Q. Does anyone other than the hospital personnel have access to that record of Gertrude Baniszewski?

A. No, sir, not without proper authorization.

Q. What, if anything, would prevent some unauthorized person making an entry in that?

MR. NEW: We object.

THE COURT: Sustained.

Q. Are you familiar with the method as to how and when various items included in that record were prepared?

A. No, sir, I don't make the records.

Q. How do they get to you as custodian?

A. After the patient leaves the wards they are brought to our office.

Q. While the patient is in the ward, you would never get the record?

A. No.

Q. After they are discharged from the hospital, you get it?

A. Yes.

Q. While the patient is in the hospital they are not compiled?

A. No, they are left on the ward.

Q. What members of the hospital staff make entries in that record?

A. Interns, residents and nurses, admitting clerks and the receiving office, and all staff doctors.

Q. What would prevent that particular record from getting mixed up with the record of another patient out there?

MR. NEW: We object.

THE COURT: Sustained.

Q. Is that kept in the regular course of business?

A. Yes, it is.

Q. For every patient?

A. Yes, sir.

Q. Including Gertrude Baniszewski?

A. Yes, sir.

Q. Did you ever see this record prior to coming to court today?

A. No, sir.

Q. When did you first see it?

A. When you sent the subpoena out this morning.

Q. Did you look at the record then?

A. Yes, sir.

Q. Did you look at the first page of it?

A. Yes, sir, I did.

Q. The record number indicates 530620?

A. -4.

Q. The top says Gertrude Baniszewski?

A. That is correct.

Q. Which is the record - does it have Wright or Baniszewski?

A. Gertrude Baniszewski.

MR. ERBECKER: The Defendant now offers in evidence Defendant's Exhibit "E".

MR. NEW: Your Honor, the State objects to the defendant's tendered exhibit "E". It is not properly identified and does not tend to prove any issue as a matter of defense.

THE COURT: Ladies and Gentlemen of the jury and Alternate Jurors. I have to excuse you again a few minutes. Retire to the jury room and don't talk among yourselves and don't let anyone talk to you about this case or any subject connected there with. Don't form or express any opinion on the case till it is finally submitted to you. Jury and Alternate Jurors may leave.

JURY EXCUSED.

THE COURT: Who owns the hospital?

A. Marion County General is owned by the city.

THE COURT: City and county?

A. Yes.

THE COURT: Tax supported?

A. Yes.

THE COURT: How many sheets are in that exhibit there?

A. 530620-4 - forty-eight.

THE COURT: What is the earliest date?

A. November 15, 1965.

THE COURT: That is the earliest date?

A. Yes.

THE COURT: Would you want that back - that exhibit back?

A. Yes, we would want it back.

THE COURT: How much would it cost to photostat it?

A. Approximately 10 cents a sheet.

THE COURT: Approximately 10 cents a sheet. The earliest date is 1965, November 15. The latest is what?

A. March 3, 1966.

THE COURT: When did you got your subpoena?

A. This morning.

THE COURT: Was it delivered by the sheriff or attorney?

A. I don't know - it was 9:00 o'clock this morning.

THE COURT: Were any fees given you for bringing it in? You figure it would cost 10 cents a page to photostat it then?

A. Yes, sir.

THE COURT: Objection sustained to the exhibit as offered. We will consider - if there is no objection - a photostatic copy. She wants the record back.

MR. ERBECKER: We will pay for a photostatic copy. My client has got a lot of money. We will pay for the copy.

MR. NEW: I would like to explain briefly what my thinking is. Here is a situation of the defendant offering this exhibit showing specific doctors treated her. This offer identifies her as a person whom they treated and stated what they treated her for, what medication was prescribed. I wonder if the entries made at the hospital - they might be intending to impeach the testimony already had.

JURY PRESENT AND SEATED.

THE COURT: Ladies and Gentlemen, this recess is going to be much longer than I had anticipated. By agreement of counsel for the State and defendants given in open court, the jury is permitted to separate. Return tomorrow morning at 9:30 instead of 9:00, to the jury room. During the recess or adjournment, do not talk among yourselves and don't let anyone talk to you about this case or any subject connected therewith. Don't form or express any opinion on this case till is it finally submitted to you. Don't read any newspaper articles and magazine that may appear about the case and don't watch anything or listen to anything that may be broadcast about the case. Court will remain in session and the jury and alternate jurors are excused till 9:30 tomorrow morning.

JURY EXCUSED.

THE COURT: Court is still in session. Let me see it. Would a doctor examining this patient on order of the court - would that be there?

A. No, sir, they don't put that in the chart.

THE COURT: A sheet with the doctors appointed by the court appears. How did it happen to get in?

A. That is the note sheet. Usually a note sheet is done in the normal course, of hospital care. They always do that, a typewritten sheet. That is always done in the hospital. You have a face sheet like this.

THE COURT: Who is Paskin?

A. Dr. Paskin is one of the staff doctors.

THE COURT: Staff or resident?

A. He is a staff doctor. He is at the hospital all the time. Not a resident, staff.

THE COURT: A staff doctor. What branch of medicine?

A. Psychiatric.

THE COURT: Do you know why his name appears on here?

A. He signs almost all the psychiatric charts that go through the office.

THE COURT: Even though he does nothing about it?

A. He sees the patients and they go on to residents or interns or other staff doctors.

THE COURT: How about the doctors appointed by the court?

A. They don't sign the face sheet on the chart.

THE COURT: Do they do anything about it when a patient is set out there by the court?

A. I don't know, Judge Rabb.

THE COURT: This is a very interesting exhibit. We will recess fifteen or twenty minutes and give the State of Indiana a chance to look at the record before they want to renew their objection.

MR. NEW: We have other reasons.

THE COURT: I think maybe you ought to read it and perhaps the defendant should read it before he introduces it and I think counsel for the other defendants should read it to see if they want to join in the other objection. We are in recess. You can stay here. It may take them a long time to read that.

RECESS.

THE COURT: Everybody is here, the lawyers and the defendants and the prosecutor. The jury is not here. They and the alternate jurors were excused till tomorrow morning at 9:30. Miss Thigpen, I would like to release you this evening. I don't know who you want to leave the record with. I want all the lawyers to read it, understand, and determine whether they want to offer the exhibit or object to it or what. I want to excuse the court reporter. There is no sense of her hanging around an hour or two.

A. I'd like to be excused if I could.

THE COURT: What shall we do with your record?

MR. BOWMAN: I have no objection to any one of counsel maintaining custody of the record, or Your Honor himself, if he wants to stay.

THE COURT: That is a demotion from judge to janitor. You lawyers let me know when you are done reading the exhibit. We will have Miss Thigpen wait.

MR. ERBECKER: Defendant Gertrude Baniszewski respectfully moves the court to make appropriate order for physical examination, is that right, Mrs. Baniszewski?

GERTRUDE BANISZEWSKI: Yes.

THE COURT: Have Dr. Shuck look at her tonight or if he is not available some other doctor who is available who knows her history. Be sure she gets a good physical examination and have her back in court.

MR. ERBECKER: May I be excused till court opens in the morning?

THE COURT: When are you going to read the record?

MR. ERBECKER: I am not going to object to something I offer in evidence.

THE COURT: Tomorrow morning you will want an hour to examine it.

MR. ERBECKER: No, I will be here at 7:30 or a quarter of 8:00. I will look it over in a few minutes. I think I know what is in the record.

MR. NEW: I don't think he does.

THE COURT: I don't think so either. I will excuse you if you want to go. The jury will be brought in promptly at 9:30, Gentlemen. You have had ample opportunity over night to study these things. We will start promptly with the jury tomorrow morning at 9:30. We are in recess till 9:30 tomorrow morning.

COURT ADJOURNED.

MAY 13, 1966, AND THE TRIAL OF THIS CAUSE WAS RESUMED.

THE COURT: Are we ready to proceed?

MR. BOWMAN: Your Honor, I have two written motions to file.

THE COURT: Let's dispose of what we have in front of us.

MR. BOWMAN: We object to the introduction. It is based on hearsay.

MR. RICE: Paula Marie Baniszewski objects, particularly to the report of Dr. Schuster, containing material that might well be injurious to this defendant, on the grounds that it is hearsay because it was made out of the sight and presence and hearing of this defendant.

MR. NEDEFF: Richard Hobbs makes the same objection and assigns the same reasons.

MR. NEW: The State objects to the introduction.

THE COURT: The objection of the State of Indiana and the defendants Paula Marie Baniszewski, John Stephan Baniszewski, Richard Hobbs and Coy Hubbard are sustained. Ready for the jury?

MR. BOWMAN: No, Your Honor.

THE COURT: Before ruling on this - since this is by attorney, do you feel your client can sign it? Why don't you have them sign it also.

MR. BOWMAN: Does the court want the defendants to sign?

THE COURT: I don't want anything. I think when a motion of this kind is filed, I think it should be by defendant as well. Is there any harm in it?

MR. BOWMAN: No, sir, none that I can anticipate right now.

THE COURT: Do you want to take them in that room and explain to them what it is?

MR. ERBECKER: Your Honor, may I put the present witness on the stand?

THE COURT: Yes, bring her in.

MR. ERBECKER: I would like to ask her a question or two.

THE COURT: Out of the presence and hearing of the jury?

MR. ERBECKER: Yes.

THE COURT: Alright. Wait till the rest of the attendants come.

MR. ERBECKER: This only concerns Gertrude.

THE COURT: The trial is for everybody. Let the record show that defendant John Stephan Baniszewski and defendant Coy Hubbard, in person and by counsel, withdraw their written Special Plea of Insanity. Granted. The issues, as far as they are concerned on a Plea of Insanity will be withdrawn. Before we start, show the jury and alternate jurors were not here, not within hear - in hearing, that this court has received from Dr. Shuck a manuscript report as to his physical examination which ends as of this examination. I see no physical reason why this patient cannot stand trial. Here it is, Mr. Erbecker. So to will proceed with the trial as to her, and it will be made part of the record with reference to Gertrude Baniszewski. There was a question raised as to her physical ability yesterday to stand trial. Alright, Mr. Bowman, may I see it if it is going to be part of the record? Show it to Mr. Rice and Mr. Nedeff at the same time. Alright, Miss Thigpen is on the stand. I thought you had some questions to ask.

MR. ERBECKER: I will ask them in front of the jury.

THE COURT: Bring in the jury.

JURY PRESENT AND SEATED.

THE COURT: The objection of the State and the defendants, Paula Marie Baniszewski, John Stephan Baniszewski, Richard Hobbs and Coy Hubbard to the introduction of Exhibit "E" is sustained. Next question, Mr. Erbecker.

DIRECT EXAMINATION RESUMED,
QUESTIONS BY MR. WILLIAM ERBECKER, ATTORNEY FOR DEFENDANT,
GERTRUDE BANISZEWSKI

Q. State your name, please.

A. Virginia Thigpen.

Q. The same witness who testified at the conclusion of yesterday's recess?

A. Yes, sir.

Q. Now, Miss Thigpen, are you familiar how various items that are included in this report are prepared?

A. Yes.

Q. And how have you become familiar with that method?

A. Through my lengthy stay at the hospital.

Q. How long have you been there?

A. A little over fifteen years.

Q. In that length of time have you had the same position you have got now?

A. Yes, sir.

Q. You must have prepared or had custody of a lot of these records?

A. Yes, sir.

Q. How many, would you say?

A. Oh, in the thousands, I Imagine, Mr. Erbecker.

Q. Every patient that goes out there?

A. Yes, sir.

Q. Is it in the regular course of business of the hospital to make entries of the kind that appears in Defendant's Exhibit "E" with reference to any person who goes to that hospital for treatment?

A. Yes, sir.

Q. And which particular members of the hospital staff in the course of their business and duties make any entries in the records, including Defendant's Exhibit "E"?

A. The residents, interns, nurses and admitting offices and staff doctors.

Q. What, if anything, is the regular hospital procedure concerning the time the entry is made, for the record, including Defendant's Exhibit "E", with relation to the time when the person who made that particular entry saw the patient? Is my question clear to you?

A. No, sir, it is not.

Q. What is the procedure for time when a person who does something for this record makes it, with reference to when the person made the entry and when they saw the patient?

A. When the patient is admitted and all the time the patient is in the hospital.

Q. In other words, if I examined Mr. X today, I would make the entry today?

A. Yes, sir.

Q. No length of time intervenes between the time of making the examination and treatment and the entry?

A. No, sir.

Q. Is it the regular course of business at the hospital for a staff member or anybody who treats a patient to make entries at or near the time he sees the patient?

A. Yes, sir.

Q. And the person whose name appears thereon?

A. As far as I know, sir.

Q. In this case, it is Gertrude Wright Baniszewski?

A. Yes.

Q. Are the entries in this record for Gertrude Wright Baniszewski in the usual form?

A. Yes, sir.

Q. Is there anything about Defendant's Exhibit "E" which indicates they were not made in the usual form and manner at or near the time the entrant saw the patient?

MR. NEW: We object.

THE COURT: Sustained.

Q. Is there an entry stating the history of the patient's complaint included in this record?

MR. NEW: We object.

THE COURT: Sustained.

Q. Is this a complete record starting with November 15, 1965? Do you want to see it?

A. Yes, please. (examined record) Yes, sir.

Q. Is it a complete record up to and including the latest date, namely March 16, 1966?

A. Yes, sir.

Q. Is there anything about Defendant's Exhibit "E" that indicates it was prepared in a manner different from the method you have described here?

A. No, sir.

Q. Is a statement of the patient's condition on discharge orderly included as part of the medical records made at your hospital?

A. Yes, sir.

MR. NEW: We object.

THE COURT: Sustained. The answer will go out.

Q. That report, Defendant's Exhibit "E", includes any examinations made at that hospital between those two dates, November 15, 1965 and March 16, 1966, does it?

MR. NEW: We object.

THE COURT: Sustained.

Q. Is there anything about Defendant's Exhibit "E" to indicate it was prepared in a manner different from the ordinary course of business out there with reference to keeping of records for patients?

MR. NEW: We object.

THE COURT: Sustained. It is repetitious.

MR. ERBECKER: At this time Gertrude Baniszewski re-offers in evidence her Defendant's Exhibit "E" in support of her Answer in Paragraph 2, Paragraph 3, Paragraph 4 and Paragraph 5, her answer heretofore filed February 23, 1966.

MR. NEW: The State objects for reasons assigned in the presence of the jury yesterday.

MR. RICE: Paula Marie Baniszewski objects for the reasons assigned to the court earlier this morning.

MR. BOWMAN: We object for the reasons previously assigned.

MR. NEDEFF: We object for the same reasons assigned.

THE COURT: The objection of the State, Paula, John Stephan, Coy Hubbard and Richard Hobbs is sustained.

MR. ERBECKER: No further questions.

THE COURT: Any cross?

MR. NEW: No cross examination.

THE COURT: Miss Thigpen, the record will have to stay since it was marked as an exhibit. The court authorizes you to take it back to the hospital and I think you said it would cost 10 cents a page. The court will permit a substitution unless there is an objection to a photostatic copy.

MR. NEW: We have no objection.

MR. ERBECKER: We will pay for it if you will let me know.

WITNESS EXCUSED.
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