After the State rested Wednesday afternoon in Dennis Poitra, Jr.'s trial, the Defense called three witnesses to the stand.
First was Tiffany Blanchard-Reynolds, a Probation Officer and Case Worker with the Department of Family Services. She testified that she has known Dennis for about five years, serving as his probation officer. The day before the Ernst murder, Blanchard-Reynolds said that he had come to see her at the DFS office to get medication prescribed by Sheridan Memorial Hospital, from where he had just been discharged.
She told the Court that Poitra was extremely restless, fidgety, constantly pacing, and unable to sit still – more agitated than she'd ever seen him. She said he also seemed confused as to why he came to her office, showing her his discharge paperwork to pick up a prescription of Seroquel. She called a nurse, who said the prescription had been called in to a local pharmacy. She said that she would characterize Poitra as more of a follower than a leader, and that close friends were considered more as family than his real family.
On cross examination, she told Matt Redle that she knew two different “Jr.'s” -- a calm and mild-mannered young man when he was on his medication, but when off his meds she observed someone with increased problems with impulsivity and outbursts. She also said that Jr. had a history of rapidly shifting moods, which started when he was younger, and little things would set him off. When Redle asked her if Jr. was very concerned about being accepted by others, so much so that he didn't care about his behavior to fit in, she said, “Yes.”
She told Redle that Poitra had never gone to DFS to get medications before. He suggested that perhaps he was to go there to renew his Medicaid number before getting the Seroquel.
On re-direct, Blanchard-Reynolds said that she had been unaware that he had taken a 200 mg dose of Seroguel prior to leaving the hospital.