Nurse to plead out, become witness

By From page A1 | October 31, 2012

Donna Palmer’s attorney, Patrick Hanly, stood in for both her and co-defendant Rebecca Smith and her attorney Guy Louie, to request a change of date for a preliminary hearing Monday morning.

Hanly, currently involved in a trial in Sacramento, requested that Judge Douglas C. Phimister continue the preliminary hearing scheduled for Thursday in hopes that he would be finishing the trial, which had already run longer than anticipated, he said.

Phimister noted he would have to send it to another department if the hearing were pushed off, which both Hanly and Deputy Attorney General Steven Muni were able to agree to.

However, Muni wanted to also keep the Thursday hearing as Smith would be pleading out and would become a cooperative witness, he announced.

Phimister then proposed keeping the Thursday hearing, but move further proceedings to Department 2. Both attorneys again agreed, with a new trial setting conference set for Nov. 9 at 8:30 a.m. in Department. 2

The charges against Palmer and Smith came as a result of the death of Johnnie Esco, who died as a result of fecal impaction in 2008 while under the care of the nurses at El Dorado Convalescent Hospital in Placerville. The charges allege that this was the result of elder abuse.

Cole Mayer

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