|On June 4, 1993, my boyfriend, Patrick Dolan died. I found him unresponsive
in his bed at approximately 4:00 PM. I initiated breaths and CPR, phoned
911. The paramedics said there was nothing more they could do, and called
for the coroner.
Licking county (Ohio) coroner, Dr. Robert Raker arrived approximately 5:00 PM. He asked about Pat's drinking and drug use. I told him we had been out drinking the night before.
On November 5, 1993, Newark Detective Scott Snow came to my home and asked if 1 would come to the police department that day, so I did. Detective Snow and Deputy Chief of Detectives Al Zellner tape recorded the interview. (I have the transcript). They did not inform me of Pat's cause of death.
On December 17, 1993, Det. Snow phoned and asked if I would come to the police department and they would bring me up to date as to where they were in the investigation of Pat's death. I went to the police department and was accused of murdering Pat. Chief Zellner called me a "cold blooded murderess". The tape recording of this interview, unfortunately, has never surfaced.
Det. Snow wrote an "interview summary" of this interview...not dated nor signed by anyone. Det. Snow omitted an important question mark. He reported that when he said that I had more involvement in Pat's death than I had previously indicated, that I said, "I did."; when actually I questioned, "I did?"
Then, according to his report, I was "catatonic" for 28 minutes, only blinking twice. Per Det. Snow, I was catatonic two more times. They did not summon medical help and continued questioning me. I was told that Pat died of an oral ingestion of morphine, morphine poisoning. Since the morphine was a pharmaceutical grade morphine, and I was a nurse, I was the suspect. I was allowed to leave after agreeing to a polygraph.
When I left, I hired an attorney, J. Tullis Rogers, of Columbus, Ohio.
He cancelled the polygraph.
My trial was scheduled for March 20, 1995. On March 1, 1995, Assistant prosecutor, Ken Oswalt, discovered that Chief Zellner was engaged to marry Ruth Dolan, former wife of Pat; something I knew 3 months before. Mr. Oswalt offered a plea of involuntary manslaughter as a felony three. He withdrew the offer two days later.
On March 20, 1995, jury selection began. Mr. Oswalt disqualified potential jurors with any type of knowledge of morphine. The plea of involuntary manslaughter as a felony three (causing the death of another in the course of a misdemeanor; corrupting another with drugs) was offered. My attorney turned it down. I would have pled no contest to negligent homicide, a 1st degree misdemeanor, but my attorney said that since I wasn't driving a car, he would not take it to the prosecutor, as it wasn't applicable. Also on the first day of my trial, Judge Spahr signed a motion suppressing the fact that Chief Zellner was engaged to Ruth Dolan.
My trial took 5 days. Judge Spahr allowed one week and one week only. The jury went out on Friday evening and Judge Spahr told the jury that they needed to have a verdict that evening or they would have to come in over the weekend. Coming in on Monday was not an option. After approximately 3 hours of deliberations, the jury found me not guilty of aggravated murder, but guilty of murder. At 11 PM I was sentenced to 15 years to life.
2. Pat's life insurance policy had a drug clause prohibiting payment for accidental drug overdose. Because of the word HOMICIDE, payment was made to Pat's oldest child, a minor at that time in the custody of Ruth Dolan, engaged to Al Zellner. The insurance info was never brought to the jury's attention.
3. Franklin county Chief of Toxicology, James Ferguson is not a doctor. His degree is not in pharmacology, toxicology, or even chemistry. My attorney did not argue Mr. Ferguson's expertise. Mr. Ferguson testified that this was the only case where he found I.V. morphine was used orally.
4. My attorney didn't file a motion to dismiss the indictment. Nor did he file for Grand Jury transcripts. These transcripts would have shown that the 12-17-93 interview summary was used as evidence. That summary was incorrect, "I did." vs "I did?".
Also presented to the Grand Jury was a statement of J.C. Schamleffell, a Newark fireman. This statement was dated July 1994, 13 months after Pat's death and is contradictory to the squad report dated 6-4-93. Mr. Schamleffell stated in his July 1994 statement, that I was telling jokes and laughing at Pat's house while the paramedics were there.
5. Mr. Oswalt failed to disclose the lab report that stated the Gatorade in question as well as the coffee cup recovered at the "scene" tested NEGATIVE for the presence of morphine.
6. Det. Snow was allowed to testify as to my catatonic state. He is not a medical professional. Now, if I were indeed “catatonic” especially for 28 minutes, then 15, then 10, why did Chief Zellner and Det. Snow continue to question me while I was in a state of diminished capacity? Since I wasn't catatonic, then what else is Det. Snow mistaken about? He can't have it both ways; catatonic equals diminished capacity. Not catatonic equals Det. Snow is not credible.
7. Judge Spahr denied motion for funds for psych evaluation and for
expert witness. The psych evaluation would have shown that I don't have
catatonia in my psyche. The expert witness would have been able to prove
Mr. Ferguson wrong. Mr. Ferguson testified (t. 565) that a 15 milligram
(mg) dose of morphine would equal a 35 microgram percent (µg%) blood
level. According to the toxicology report, Pat's blood level was 720 µ%.
310 mg of morphine is not a lethal adult dose, let alone 10 to 14 times the adult lethal dose, as testified to by Mr. Tate of the Franklin County coroner's office.
8. Per Tabors Cyclopedic Medical Dictionary, pg 2103 (Edition 15, F
A Davis) probable lethal range of morphine is 5 milligrams of morphine
per kilogram of body weight (5mg/kg) to 50 milligrams of morphine per kilogram
of body weight(50mg/kg). According to Pat's medical records, he weighed
155 pounds or 70 kg. (155 x 2.2)
9. MS Contin, a morphine sulfate, is dispensed as a 300 mg. extended release tab, so 300 mg. could hardly be a lethal dose. Since a 720 µg% blood level equals a dose of 310 mg, Pat's death should never have been called morphine poisoning. Given that alcohol and marijuana were also found in Pat's tox screen, this dose is more in range with an accidental overdose.
I have been incarcerated for 10 years for a crime that I did not commit;
a crime that never happened. I did not kill Pat Dolan and I pray that you
can help me.
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