The manslaughter trial of a Des Moines doctor has been sent to the jury for deliberation.
On Tuesday morning both sides rested their case against Dr. Daniel Baldi. He’s charged with seven counts of involuntary manslaughter.
Closing arguments were presented to the jury this afternoon. The prosecution claims Baldi missed several red flags with his at-risk patients while the defense continues to maintain Baldi never did anything criminal and was simply treating a group of patients that no one else would.
“The defendant showed over and over in these medical records reckless behavior, addicts who want drugs who shouldn’t have them because they’re dangerous he just gives it to them, he doesn’t show the supervision he should as a doctor that we expect doctors to do,” assistant Polk County attorney Celene Gogerty said.
The prosecution also claims Baldi didn’t document or examine medical records closely and refiled medications multiple times even when patients claimed they lost them.
But the defense maintains Baldi never did anything criminal.
“Dr. Baldi is not guilty of each and every one of these cases, he did his best, he is not reckless, even if you think he did not do his best, what he did, did not cause the death of these patients,” defense attorney Guy Cook argued.
Cook says Baldi treated a group of patients that no one else would, and those patients abused medication not prescribed by Baldi and died without his prescriptions in their system. He adds that the state has to prove Baldi was intentionally reckless with his patients and Cook says that simply isn’t the case.
“There is no evidence of doing something on purpose to hurt someone, more than malpractice with no regard for safety that’s what the state has to prove beyond a reasonable doubt, they haven’t even gotten close,” Cook told the court.
But the prosecution claims Baldi ignored red flags and continued to feed his patients’ addiction without regard for their safety.
“The evidence in this case shows the defendant acted recklessly how he treated these patients and as a result they died, I ask you to return verdicts of guilty,” Gogerty argued.
The case was handed over to the jury at 4 p.m. and deliberated for just ten minutes before the judge called it for the day.
The jury will return Wednesday morning to continue deliberation.
If found guilty on all seven counts, Baldi could face up to 35 years in prison and a $52,000 fine.