Ereck Plancher trial: O'Leary says he never ordered trainers, water out
UCF coach George O'Leary testified during the ninth day of the Ereck Plancher wrongful death trial
The judge sent the jury out of the room. He then told the attorneys he would not allow further questioning of O'Leary Thursday, but Yerrid said he reserved the right to call him again at any time and UCFAA reserved the right to call him during their presentation as well.
Evans told Taylor everyone in the courtroom knew what he was doing and was not forthcoming with information. He said it was part of the "lack of professionalism in the case."
Before O'Leary took the stand, the jury watched video highlights of Vander Heiden's depositions.
Vander Heiden described the school's sickle cell trait policy and informing O'Leary and strength and conditioning coach Ed Ellis Plancher had the trait.
She was interviewing students near her office when an assistant coach told her Jackson had asked her for help treating Plancher. Vander Heiden said she wasn't under the impression it was a medical emergency and she was going to assist transporting an athlete to the training room for further care.
Vander Heiden said she ran to get a transport vehicle and drove it across the sidewalk to the front of the fieldhouse. When she arrived, she noted Plancher appeared to be "lethargic" and had a weak pulse.
She said she did not automatically assume they were sickle cell related symptoms because she was treating the immediate signs of distress. Vander Heiden said it would be unusual for any athlete who finished a workout with a weak pulse, prompting her to instruct Jackson to call 911. She said when Plancher lost his pulse, she began CPR.
When Jackson dropped and broke the first automated external defibrillator used to diagnose cardiac arrhythmias, she instructed him to grab the other one from inside the fieldhouse. She grabbed the second monitor and followed its instructions not to shock Plancher's heart.
When campus police and paramedics arrived, they took over Plancher's emergency care. Vander Heiden said she told the paramedics Plancher had tested positive for sickle cell trait. She said she told them about the trait because it was her responsibility to provide Plancher's medical history when they took over care.
Vander Heiden said she is not authorized by the state of Florida to administer intravenous fluids and she chose not give Plancher high-flow oxygen because he was breathing when she arrived.
She agreed with Yerrid that the National Athletic Trainers' Association consensus report on sickle cell trait recommends that intravenous fluids and high-flow oxygen be administered when an athlete with the trait appears to be in distress. Vander Heiden said it is UCFAA policy to follow NATA guidelines.
The jury also watched video highlights of UCF assistant coach Tim Salem's deposition. Salem testified he learned Plancher had sickle cell trait while reading the newspaper following the player's death.
Salem was UCF's offensive coordinator and helped supervise Plancher's final workout.
Salem said he didn't know Plancher had sickle cell trait. When Plancher family attorney Jeff Murphy asked Salem how he learned Plancher had the trait, Salem responded, "I think it was through the news. Well, I want to say it was the newspaper. I remember reading the release that UCF had that all the coaches knew, you know, Ereck Plancher had sickle cell. [Expletive], I didn't know."
Murphy then asked Salem whether he ever talked with any other coaches to see if they knew Plancher had sickle cell trait.
Salem said, "Yeah, because as soon as I read that newspaper, I called one of our other coaches immediately and said did you know that so-and-so had sickle cell, because I sure as hell didn't."
He said he spoke with wide receivers coach David Kelly, Plancher's position coach who testified Wednesday he didn't know before the player's death tested positive for the trait.
The attorneys once again began Thursday morning by arguing objections before the judge, with UCFAA highlighting sections of the depositions they did not believe followed court rules and should not be heard by the jury.
Evans stayed for two hours after the jury left Wednesday night to rule on objections to Vander Heiden's deposition. The judge said he was infuriated the attorneys spent at least 30 minutes reviewing objections to Salem's deposition. Evans admonished the attorneys for the protracted delays.
"Words can't describe how sick of it I am," Evans said. " It's got to stop. And here's the deal. From now on, I don't care if you stay through the night and you don't get any sleep. I want these things to be worked out before we come to trial."
Evans told the attorneys they were equally responsible for the delays. He said the court reporters' records were "so replete with both sides wasting time" that the attorneys should not both stating they didn't have enough time to finish their presentations during any potential appeals.
He said both sides agreed to a three-week trial and promised the jurors they would stick to that timeline.
At the end of Thursday's proceedings, Evans said the Planchers' attorneys has nine hours and 40 minutes remaining for questioning of witnesses, objections and closing arguments. He said UCFAA has 19 hours and five minutes remaining. Evans said he would be willing to work late and during the weekend if the attorneys made a compelling case that they would not receive due process and be able to complete their case in time.
However, the Plancher family attorneys said they expect to rest their case Friday. The UCFAA attorney said they would likely be able to rest their case Thursday. Evans said he did not anticipate the need to work on Saturday to complete the trial on time.
Check back for live updates throughout the Plancher trial. firstname.lastname@example.org or 407-650-6353. Read Iliana Limón's blog at OrlandoSentinel.com/knightsnotepad.