Poitra Trial: Day 3, Defense 3rd Witness

The final witness for the Defense was Shawna Laffitte, the Health Information Management Specialist at Sheridan Memorial Hospital.

Ms. Laffitte was shown an Attestation Sheet for Dennis Poitra, Jr. showing he had been admitted at 3:35 am on August 24th, 2009. His Medication Administration Record, or MAR, dated August 24th, 2009, referenced the administration of Ativan, also known as Lorazepam, at 1 pm that afternoon and one dose of Seroquel at 9 pm that night.

She was next shown Discharge Instructions dated August 25th, 2009, on which it stated, “Dr. Williams is sending you home with a prescription of Seroquel. You are to go to the Department of Family Services to pick up prescription.”

On cross-examination, Matt Redle showed her the Physicians Entry Sheet for Poitra's admittance on August 24th, as well as the Physicians Discharge Orders, which instructed Poitra to “discharge to home, but consult Andie Bell regarding Seroquel." Bell at the time worked for the hospital as a licensed clinical social worker.

Redle then showed Ms. Laffitte Progress Notes written by mental health expert Pam Christensen, dated August 25th and stating that Poitra was to “call and get with his case worker [at DFS] to renew his Medicaid benefits.” A second Progress Notes sheet written by Christensen stated that “Dennis presented very differently after taking a respectable [200 mg] dose of Seroquel; he was apologetic, calmer... I believe he is no longer a danger to himself and recommend he see his DFS case worker to procure funding for meds. [And] he should at least enroll in mental health to work on criminal thinking and anger management...”

On re-direct, Vaughn Neubauer confirmed with Laffitte that it can be up to the physician to give progress notes to a patient, but that it is also available through the "Release of Information" legal process.

The trial is expected to wrap up today, with the jury entering into deliberations this afternoon.

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