MARTHA LAMB
EMERGENCY ROOM

See also: Martha Lamb Emergency Room Report


(Pages 789-802)

789

 

1 MARTHA LAMB,

 

2 called as a witness on behalf of the defendant, being

 

3 first duly sworn by the court, was examined and testified

 

4 as follows:

 

5 COURT: Mr. Correll.

 

6 MR. CORRELL: Thank you, Your Honor.

 

7 DIRECT EXAMINATION

 

8 BY MR. CORRELL:

 

9 Q. Will you state your name, please.

 

10 A. Martha Lamb.

 

11 Q. And where do you reside?

 

12 A. In LaPorte City.

 

13 COURT: Excuse me. How do you spell your

 

14 last name?

 

15 WITNESS: L-A-M-B.

 

16 COURT: Thank you.

 

17 Mr. Correll. I'm sorry.

 

18 Q. Thank you. Are you employed?

 

19 A. Yes, I am.

 

20 Q. And where are you employed?

 

21 A. At Sartori Hospital.

 

22 Q. How long have you been employed at Sartori

 

23 Hospital?

 

24 A. Approximately one year.

 

25 Q. And in what capacity are you employed at

 

 

790

 

1 Sartori Hospital?

 

2 A. I work as a registered nurse.

 

3 Q. And how long have you been a registered

 

4 nurse?

 

5 A. For 11 years.

 

6 Q. And what has been your education and training

 

7 to become a licensed -- or, excuse me, a registered

 

8 nurse?

 

9 A. I'm a three-year diploma prepared.

 

10 Q. Were you working as a registered nurse at

 

11 Sartori Hospital on the evening of October 4, 1996?

 

12 A. Yes, I was.

 

13 Q. And in what -- what place or what capacity

 

14 within the hospital were you working at that time?

 

15 A. In the intensive care unit.

 

16 Q. And is -- did you ever have any occasion on

 

17 October 4 some time after 11 o'clock p.m. to be called to

 

18 the emergency room area of Sartori Hospital?

 

19 A. Yes. I was called to the E.R.

 

20 Q. Okay. And while you were at the emergency

 

21 room, did you have any occasion to meet or see the

 

22 individual to my immediate left, Mr. Tracy Rokes?

 

23 A. Yes. I was his primary nurse.

 

24 Q. Okay. And did you ever know him prior to

 

25 that?

 

 

 

791

 

1 A. No.

 

2 Q. And have you ever met with him since that

 

3 time?

 

4 A. No, I have not.

 

5 Q. With regard to the Sartori records, do they

 

6 maintain emergency department records regarding the care

 

7 of people who come into their hospital to the emergency

 

8 room?

 

9 A. Yes, we do.

 

10 Q. And were those records prepared and

 

11 maintained for Mr. Rokes?

 

12 A. Yes, they were.

 

13 Q. And were the -- was the emergency department

 

14 record for Mr. Rokes filled out in your own hand?

 

15 A. Yes, it was.

 

16 Q. And have you a copy of your own hand -- in

 

17 your own hand the emergency department record for Tracy

 

18 Rokes on October 4, 1996?

 

19 A. Yes, I do.

 

20 MR. CORRELL: Ask our reporter to mark that,

 

21 please.

 

22 (At which time Defendant's Exhibit "3" was

 

23 marked for identification.)

 

24 Q. I'm going to hand to you what has been marked

 

25 by our reporter as Defendant's Exhibit "3". And I'd ask

 

792

 

1 you if you -- first of all, can identify that? Is that

 

2 the emergency room report from Sartori Hospital relative

 

3 to Tracy Rokes?

 

4 A. Yes, it is.

 

5 Q. And is that dated October 4, 1996?

 

6 A. Yes, it is.

 

7 Q. And is that document virtually all hand-

 

8 written?

 

9 A. Yes, it is.

 

10 Q. And in whose hand is that written?

 

11 A. It's in my handwriting.

 

12 Q. And is that handwriting, is that an effort by

 

13 you at that time to document your -- what various pieces

 

14 of information including time of arrival and condition?

 

15 A. Yes, it is.

 

16 Q. Did you fill that out at that time accurately

 

17 to the best of your ability to do so?

 

18 A. Yes, I did.

 

19 MR. CORRELL: Your Honor, at this time we

 

20 would offer what has been marked and received as

 

21 Defendant's Exhibit "3".

 

22 COURT: Any objection, Mr. Wadding?

 

23 MR. WADDING: Well, yes, Your Honor. I

 

24 believe that the document itself is hearsay, and she's

 

25 here to testify. She is the best evidence with reference

 

 

793

 

1 to what happened in that emergency room.

 

2 COURT: Is there an exception, Mr. Correll?

 

3 MR. CORRELL: It is not hearsay because the

 

4 author of the document is here.

 

5 MR. WADDING: Well, it's still a statement

 

6 outside the courtroom, Your Honor. It's offered for the

 

7 truth of the matter, and I -- it's still outside the --

 

8 still statements made outside the courtroom. The fact

 

9 that she's here doesn't mitigate the character -- its

 

10 character as hearsay.

 

11 COURT: For what purpose is it being offered?

 

12 MR. CORRELL: It is being -- it is being

 

13 offered to document the hospital record that this

 

14 particular witness made contemporaneous with the

 

15 admission relative to the condition of Mr. Rokes.

 

16 COURT: Exhibit "3" is admitted.

 

17 CONTINUED DIRECT EXAMINATION

 

18 BY MR. CORRELL:

 

19 Q. By making reference to Exhibit "3", Ms. Lamb,

 

20 does that document indicate the time that Mr. Rokes would

 

21 have been received at the emergency room on October 4?

 

22 A. Yes, it does.

 

23 Q. And is that in your hand again?

 

24 A. Yes, it is.

 

25 Q. And what time does it indicate that Mr. Rokes

 

 

794

 

1 was received into the emergency room?

 

2 A. 23:30.

 

3 Q. And would that be 11:30 in civilian time?

 

4 A. 11:30 p.m.

 

5 Q. With regard to the place for the nurses'

 

6 assessment, there is some writing that you wrote in your

 

7 own hand. Would that have been done shortly after the

 

8 time of his arrival?

 

9 A. Yes.

 

10 Q. And does that document contain abbreviations

 

11 that are used primarily by people in the medical

 

12 profession?

 

13 A. Yes, it does.

 

14 Q. Can you -- by making reference to that

 

15 portion where it says, nurses' assessments, would you

 

16 read into the record, and I may interrupt you for the

 

17 abbreviations so you can explain to us what that record

 

18 is. Will you do that, please.

 

19 A. "Enters with history of motor vehicle

 

20 accident; struck to front of car at approximately

 

21 50 miles-per-hour; has poor recollection of injuries;

 

22 abrasion to right forehead; left eyebrow with approximate

 

23 one-inch deep laceration; 1.5 to two centimeter

 

24 laceration to bridge of nose; denies loss of

 

25 consciousness at scene; denies headache; pupils equal,

 

 

795

 

1 round, react to light."

 

2 Q. Excuse me. That is an abbreviation, that

 

3 P-E -- or, excuse me, P-E-R-R-L means pupils equal, round

 

4 and reactive to light; is that correct?

 

5 A. Yes.

 

6 Q. And does that have some significance?

 

7 A. The fact that both pupils were equal and

 

8 would indicate head injury or no head injury.

 

9 Q. And in this case did it indicate absence of a

 

10 head injury?

 

11 A. Indicated normal.

 

12 Q. Okay. Go ahead, please. I'm sorry to

 

13 interrupt you.

 

14 A. "Grips strong and equal; gait even when

 

15 walked in from ambulance; lacerations cleansed; skin warm

 

16 and dry; was not wearing a seat belt; heart sounds

 

17 regular; lungs clear; skin warm and dry; face ruddy;

 

18 patient resistance to any exam, brushes attempts to

 

19 examine away."

 

20 Q. With regard to your -- the record that you

 

21 made at that point in time, is it correct that at no

 

22 place in the record did you make any indication that you

 

23 believed Mr. Rokes to be under the influence of alcohol?

 

24 A. I did not indicate it.

 

25 Q. And is it not a fact that had that been your

 

 

796

 

1 opinion you would have typically noted that in that

 

2 record?

 

3 A. If there was a smell of alcohol or if he were

 

4 indicating something other than what's here, yes.

 

5 Q. Okay. And when you made the observation,

 

6 "gait even when walked in from ambulance," does that

 

7 signify that you actually observed him walk into the

 

8 building and walk to the emergency room?

 

9 A. Yes.

 

10 MR. CORRELL: That's all the questions I

 

11 have, Your Honor.

 

12 COURT: Mr. Wadding?

 

13 CROSS-EXAMINATION

 

14 BY MR. WADDING:

 

15 Q. Does your report indicate that your first

 

16 contact with the defendant is at 11:30 --

 

17 A. Yes.

 

18 Q. -- p.m.; is that correct? And what were your

 

19 responsibilities prior to coming in contact with the

 

20 defendant?

 

21 A. I was working in the intensive care unit.

 

22 Q. And had you had any -- is it unusual for you

 

23 to be called down to the emergency room?

 

24 A. No. I work there part-time also.

 

25 Q. Okay. And so you didn't consider it to be

 

 

797

 

1 unusual to be called down this evening?

 

2 A. No. They needed extra help.

 

3 Q. And why was that?

 

4 A. For a motor vehicle accident.

 

5 Q. Okay. And why was -- why did they need the

 

6 extra help?

 

7 A. Because of the number of people coming in.

 

8 Q. And do you know how many people came in?

 

9 A. I believe four.

 

10 Q. Okay. And was -- you were assigned to Mr.

 

11 Rokes?

 

12 A. Yes.

 

13 Q. And were you assigned to anyone else?

 

14 A. His wife, Mrs. Rokes.

 

15 Q. And did you see Mrs. Rokes walk in?

 

16 A. Yes, I did.

 

17 Q. And did you notice anything uneven about her

 

18 gait?

 

19 A. I can't recall. I don't have the record.

 

20 Q. Did you make any indication as to whether or

 

21 not she was intoxicated?

 

22 A. I don't recall it.

 

23 Q. You don't know?

 

24 A. I don't recall.

 

25 Q. Do you have any independent recollection of

 

 

798

 

1 this incident?

 

2 A. I remember taking care of them.

 

3 Q. Do you remember -- you remember what?

 

4 A. I remember the night taking care of them.

 

5 Q. You remember the night of taking care of

 

6 them?

 

7 A. With the -- with this record, I remember

 

8 going to the emergency room and taking care of Mr. and

 

9 Mrs. Rokes.

 

10 Q. Okay. And you remember -- and you remember

 

11 actually treating Mrs. Rokes, right?

 

12 A. Yes.

 

13 Q. But you don't remember if you made any

 

14 observations of intoxication on her?

 

15 A. I don't remember.

 

16 Q. And do you remember whether the defendant

 

17 received sutures?

 

18 A. I remember him receiving sutures.

 

19 Q. Okay. Do you remember who did that?

 

20 A. Dr. Robitaille.

 

21 Q. And do you remember what time that was?

 

22 A. No, I don't.

 

23 Q. Okay.

 

24 MR. WADDING: May I approach?

 

25 COURT: You may.

 

 

799

 

1 Q. I'm going to show you what I've marked as

 

2 State's Exhibit "Q", marked for identification, and ask

 

3 if you recognize that?

 

4 A. Yes, I do.

 

5 Q. What do you recognize that as?

 

6 A. The second page of my nurse's notes.

 

7 Q. Okay. Does that -- is that a recorded

 

8 recollection of the treatment of the defendant?

 

9 A. Yes, it is.

 

10 Q. Okay. And do you have on State's Exhibit

 

11 "Q", marked for identification, do you have on there when

 

12 the defendant received his sutures?

 

13 A. At 00:30, 12:30 a.m.

 

14 Q. And what is occurring at 1 o'clock?

 

15 A. He was given a tetanus shot and was receiving

 

16 sutures.

 

17 Q. And is Dr. Robitaille still with him at

 

18 1 o'clock in the morning?

 

19 A. Yes, he was.

 

20 Q. Still finishing up on the suturing?

 

21 A. Yes.

 

22 MR. WADDING: I'm sorry, may I approach, Your

 

23 Honor?

 

24 COURT: You may.

 

25 Q. When you talk about the 12:30 a.m. time or

 

 

800

 

1 00:30 time, you're indicating that the defendant was

 

2 actually moved to trauma or moved to trauma one for

 

3 sutures?

 

4 A. Yes.

 

5 Q. And at 1 o'clock is when Dr. Robitaille was

 

6 actually suturing him; is that correct?

 

7 A. Yes.

 

8 Q. And were you aware that there was a -- that

 

9 blood was drawn from the defendant for alcohol tests?

 

10 A. For -- for a medical there was none.

 

11 Q. Were you aware that there was a blood drawn

 

12 from the defendant?

 

13 A. Yes.

 

14 Q. For an alcohol test?

 

15 A. It was a legal test.

 

16 Q. Okay. Were you aware of that?

 

17 A. I was aware the police officer that -- police

 

18 were in drawing, yes.

 

19 Q. Well, the police didn't draw it, Renee

 

20 Whitlatch drew it, didn't she --

 

21 A. For the police.

 

22 Q. -- is that correct?

 

23 A. Yes.

 

24 Q. All right. And were you aware that there was

 

25 a result that the defendant did have a blood-alcohol

 

 

801

 

1 content?

 

2 A. I was not made aware of what the result was.

 

3 Q. Okay. Were you aware that there was a result

 

4 indicating positive for an alcohol content?

 

5 MR. CORRELL: Excuse me. I'm going to object

 

6 to that. That incorporates hearsay.

 

7 COURT: Overruled. Were you later made aware

 

8 of that?

 

9 A. Not until this came out in the paper. During

 

10 the night in question I was not made aware of an alcohol

 

11 result.

 

12 Q. Okay. And were you aware that other police

 

13 officers had observed an odor of an alcoholic beverage on

 

14 the defendant?

 

15 A. No, I was not aware of that.

 

16 MR. WADDING: That's all the questions I

 

17 have. Thanks.

 

18 COURT: Mr. Correll?

 

19 MR. CORRELL: I have nothing further, Your

 

20 Honor.

 

21 COURT: Thank you.

 

22 MR. CORRELL: You're excused.

 

23 COURT: Do you have any other witness ready,

 

24 Mr. Correll?

 

25 MR. CORRELL: Yes, I do.

 

802

 

1 MR. WADDING: Your Honor, Mr. Correll, I'd

 

2 like to approach just for a moment.

 

3 (At which time a discussion was held off the

 

4 record between the court and counsel.)

 

5 COURT: We'll stand in recess until 9:55.

 

6 Thank you.

update 12/20/16