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Doctor Threatened with Jail Time When He Refused to Testify in Benefield Trial

Brent Benefield who's charged with causing injuries that ultimately led to his four-month-old's February 2012 death.
The doctor who performed the autopsy on the infant victim in a fatal injury to a child case is threatened with jail time when he refuses to testify when called as an expert witness for the defense.

Dr. Lloyd White was called to testify in the trial of Brent Benefield who's charged with causing injuries that ultimately led to his four-month-old's February 2012 death.

At first he resisted testifying, claiming he was threatened and bullied by district attorneys in Wichita, Denton, and Tarrant counties by email and other forms of communication.

He claimed it was in the best interest for the safety of himself and his family to not testify.

When questioned by Judge Brotherton, though, Dr. White said he couldn't point to or provide immediate proof of the alleged threats.

Judge Brotherton said Dr. White's Fifth Amendment claims were imaginary and unsubstantiated and he would have to testify or else sit in the county jail until he agreed to testify.

Dr. White then agreed to take the stand.

He testified he did not see brain contusions in the infant's scans and records and he couldn't determine when the fatal injuries were caused.

He said he didn't see anything out of the ordinary on the infant's autopsy.

When cross-examined by prosecutors, Dr. White admitted Lucas' death was not naturally caused and was ruled as a homicide due to a closed head injury cause by blunt force trauma.

This afternoon, a state's witness was recalled to the stand in an attempt to disprove one of the defense's theories that Lucas died of a blood clot in his brain.

Dr. Hayden Head, a radiologist at Cook Children's Hospital, said he's certain the infant did not die of a clot in his brain and that the defense's witness could have thought there was a clot simply because that vein wasn't pictured well in the x-rays because of the positioning of Lucas' head.

Testimony continues tomorrow morning.
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