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The Alan Yurko Hearing, Day 2

By Don Harkins, The Idaho Observer
August 24, 2004

To read a case overview: <>

Alan Yurko Hearing Day 1

Alan Yurko Evidentiary Hearing: Day 2 ORLANDO, Fla.---24 August, 2004


Just like day one, day two of Alan Yurko's evidentiary hearing began a little shaky and ended on a positive note. Obviously reeling from the courtroom beating the prosecution received on day one, Robyn Wilkinson took over from Michael Lerner to cross examine Dr. Horace Gardner. She came out of the blocks angry, vindictive and used her estimable prowess as an attorney to confuse and badger Dr. Gardner. The tactic was effective, as the previous day's excellent testimony from the Colorado ophthalmologist appeared to have been neutralized.

Yurko supporters and counsel noted the tactical change and intuited the desperation that must have driven the prosecutors to implement it.

The second witness was Dr. Jane Orient who is currently heads the Association of American Physicians and Surgeons and has impeccable credentials as an internal medicine specialist and diagnostician. She has authored a medical text book that is in its third edition, has written 50 peer-reviewed articles for 12 medical journals, has testified in courts, legislatures and congress, teaches continuing education classes to medical professionals and sits on the boards of medical associations. Fitzgibbons asked the court to accept Dr. Orient's testimony as an expert diagnostician and internal medicine specialist.

Prosecutors deposed Dr. Orient last June and knew that Dr. Orient would wreak havoc on their "case" against Yurko. After requesting to "voir dire" Dr. Orient, Wilkinson resumed her rude and confrontive demeanor to in a transparent effort to discredit Dr. Orient as an expert witness.

Dr. Orient handled herself very well and was accepted as an expert diagnostician and internist.

While being questioned by Fitzgibbons, Dr. Orient, with composed confidence, ran the full gamut of what happened, what should have happened, and what did not happen the day baby Alan died. As far as Dr. Orient was concerned, Yurko had rushed his critically sick child to the hospital which then pumped the infant full of drugs and never considered anything other than SBS as the cause of his multiple health issues and eventual death. She explained that twice the hospital declared brain death and that in neither instance did the staff follow established protocols for making such a declaration. "They kept circulation going long enough to preserve the baby's organs for harvest," Dr. Orient stated.

Upon cross examination, Wilkinson launched into Dr. Orient in such a rude and disrespectful manner even the judge seemed surprised and embarrassed. Though for a brief time Dr. Orient did seem a little irritated, but she regained her composure and turned the tables on Wilkinson by simply responding as a professional fully in control of her emotions and confident in her expertise.

For 45 minutes Wilkinson worked herself into a frustrated frenzy while Dr. Orient calmly answered questions. Much more material beneficial to Yurko's case got onto the record because of the prosecution's frantic attempt to discredit this witness. Toward the end of the ordeal, Dr. Orient was given the opportunity to state, "People believe and there is a theory, but there is no evidence of SBS."

"Oh my God," a visibly shaken and angry Wilkinson muttered as she turned away from the lectern and sat down to prepare for the next witness.

And then it got worse for the prosecution. Forensic Pathologist Stephen J. Nelson, MD took the stand. Dr. Nelson is the man who administrated the disciplinary action against his colleague Chief Medical Examiner Shashi B. Gore, MD for the numerous inconsistencies in the autopsy report that served to send Yurko to prison for life without parole for shaking his baby to death.

Lerner continually objected while Fitzgibbons was questioning Nelson as to the specifics of the errors in Dr. Gore's thoroughly discredited report. His objections were based on the fact that the material had already been heard in Gore 's Feb. 17, 2004 trial and was, therefore, not germane to the proceedings. He was repeatedly overruled and was not scoring any points with Judge Lawson in the process.

Nelson would not admit that, had Gore's autopsy report been accurate, Yurko would not have been convicted. He did state, however, that, to his knowledge this was the first time a chief medical examiner had been so severely disciplined under such circumstances. Dr. Nelson said that Dr. Gore would have been removed if he had not been so close to retirement.

After his February "conviction," Gore was ordered to conduct his administrative affairs only and not to touch another body until he retired (presumably with full benefits). Under cross examination, Lerner kept referring to the gross errors on the report---like tissue samples from a heart that had already been harvested and covering up the irresponsible doses of heparin administered to baby Alan before he died--- as "typographical errors."

The badger and confuse game plan continued with Dr. Harold Buttram whose calm, noble, knowledgeable presence was not to be disrupted by the
flailing prosecutors.

Dr. Buttram has been operating a family medicine practice for 42 years and was accepted with no objection as an expert in environmental medicine. His passion is the study of the effect of toxic chemicals on the human body. His motivation is love for children and his concern that he has been observing them as they have gotten sicker and sicker as the years have gone by.

Baby Alan, who was born fragile and premature with multiple health issues, was given six vaccines when he was only 2 weeks past true gestational age. According to calculations, those injections delivered into baby Alan's already struggling body 100 times the EPA safe-allowable limit of mercury for one day.

Dr. Buttram stated that he had spent about 1,000 hours on this case and had spent six months preparing for this hearing. Amid the expected objections and badgering by Lerner, who had taken over the cross examination duties because Wilkinson had apparently lost her composure, Dr. Buttram was able to tell the entire story of what most likely happened during the short, but important life of baby Alan (I am not sure why, but I just started sobbing with that thought).

"It was vaccines that triggered the chain of events that led to his death," said Dr. Buttram, who added, "I would never vaccinate a preemie and would never give six vaccines at once, and would always administer them with vitamin C and vitamin A."

Lerner then attempted to discredit this marvelous, compassionate man for his religious beliefs. The irony is too much to not mention: This prosecutor whose tunnel vision is compelling him to use any pathetic trick he can to keep an innocent man in prison for the rest of his life, was assaulting the beliefs of a deeply spiritual Christian man who has lived his entire life for the purpose keeping people free, alive and healthy.

The last witness of the day was Dr. F. Edward Yazbak. It is getting late so I will pick up with this witness tomorrow as he will be back on the stand first thing. Let me just leave you with today's cliff hanger: The carnage continues and Dr. Yazbak hit on something that has caused the most ardent string of objections from the prosecution to date.

The raw nerve has been hit.

Until tomorrow, Reporting from Orlando Florida, Don Harkins for the Yurko Project

Thanks again Don--another great report.

Peter, YP Webmaster
Alan, Francine, the YP staff--and Alan Ream Yurko

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