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 Yvonne EldridgeHere is a brief overview of the heart-breaking story   of Yvonne Eldridge. It is an incredible story of lies and false allegations, of egregious misuse of public trust, of an astonishing breach in the criminal justice system, of courage to stand against a brutal system gone haywire, a system intent on the systematic destruction of a loving and close-knit family. A story of perseverence under the most supremely difficult of circumstances. A story so outrageous and so shocking you won't believe it could happen. Not here. Not in America. But happen it did, and in fact, is still going on in the quiet, unassuming town of Walnut Creek, California.

A warm, caring foster mom of two medically fragile infants, Yvonne was falsely accused of child endangerment by an unscrupulous doctor. Even though there was no evidence to back up his claims, Yvonne was put on trial. During the grand jury, a so-called medical "expert" testified under oath that Yvonne suffered from Munchausen's Syndrome by Proxy (even though a scientific diagnosis was never made), and therefore, nothing she said could be believed.

The Prosecutor had abundant evidence Yvonne was not guilty of any of the charges, but ruthlessly and relentlessly prosecuted her anyway. Without enough money to hire her own attorney, Yvonne was forced to rely on the Public Defender's office for her defense.

The children's medical records (10,000 pages worth), which conclusively proved Yvonne's innocence, were removed from area hospitals and kept in the sole possession of the Prosecutor's office. At no time throughout the entire investigation and trial did Yvonne's Public Defender possess his own copy of the medical records. Additional medical witnesses called by the prosecution either deliberately gave false testimony, or were only shown selected portions of the children's medical records to comment upon.

In spite of this, Yvonne had plenty of evidence proving her innocence. Amazingly, only a small portion of it was ever presented to the jury at her trial by her Public Defender. Although she had doctors, nurses and credible character witnesses who asked to testify on her behalf, her Public Defender did not call a single witness to the stand during her trial. Yvonne testified on her own behalf, but by then the prosecution had convinced the jury that she was guilty of two counts of Child Endangerment, and was a pathological liar.

Acting on the advice of her attorney, Yvonne was not allowed to tell her side of the story to the press. The Prosecutor, however, publicly slandered and villified Yvonne as a heinous child abuser in the press, making numerous false statements and charges.

With only a small portion of the critical evidence proving her innocence presented at her trial, the jury understandably convicted her and she was sentenced to 40 months in state prison. Yvonne's sentence has been temporarily set aside and she is currently free on bail pending the outcome of her four year struggle to obtain a retrial where all the evidence can be presented and her side of the story can be told.

Now, with a new attorney, Yvonne is currently awaiting another hearing on her motion for a retrial. With the truth bound to come out in a retrial, the Prosecutor has been working energetically and vigorously to prevent another trial from happening.

There is far more to this story than we present here. Please follow the site links for more details of the long and continuing struggle of a couragous family against a most shocking and egregious misuse of public trust. 

Yvonne Eldridge is the kindest, sweetest, most caring and gracious person you'll ever meet. Married to her husband Dennis for almost 29 years, the Eldridges have three daughters: Tamara, Amber and Chandra, who were honor students and now college graduates. All three are now married and have brought six grandchildren into the family.

Yvonne's incredible ordeal began in 1987. Because it was so difficult to obtain foster parents for critically ill and terminally ill children, and because Dennis and Yvonne had previously been foster parents to such children, the San Francisco Department of Social Services contacted Yvonne and Dennis about a new program that was being formed.

This unique program brought high risk and medically fragile infants into a warm and caring home environment instead of leaving them to live or die in the sterile environment of a hospital. The program included, but was not limited to, drug-addicted babies, AIDS babies, babies with severe lung disease, and so forth. This pilot program would come to be known as "Baby Moms".

After much prayer and thought, and with love to share, Dennis, Yvonne and their three daughters made a family decision to become one of the first "Baby Moms" in the program. Their first baby through this program was Glenisha who had full-blown AIDS. Her parents were unable to care for her, but did not want her to die in the hospital. So the Eldridges brought her into their home in the spring of 1987, knowing she was only expected to live just a few more months. Dennis, Yvonne and their three daughters grew to love this baby and watching her die was hard on the entire family.

On August 11, 1988, in recognition of their willingness to bring critically and terminally ill children into their home, Dennis and Yvonne Eldridge were honored with the "Great American Families" award. They were one of only six families chosen nationwide for this honor, and were presented with their award at the White House by then First Lady Nancy Reagan.

Dennis and Yvonne were outstanding foster parents, and received many accolades for the love, warmth and wonderful care they gave the babies and small children in their home. Here are just a few quotes about Yvonne and Dennis as foster parents:

"The Eldridges are dedicated Baby Moms. Their energy, experience, knowledge and commitment to our babies mirrors the very essence of what Baby Moms is all about."

Lorrie Castellano, San Francisco Department of Social Services, Fragile Infant Special Care Program Coordinator
"I found [Yvonne Eldridge] to be an excellent foster mother who was skilled and willing to take care of children who were very sick and required complex care at home. She was a strong advocate for care for them at home and did a very effective job in doing so."

Bruce G. Nickerson, M.D., Pediatric Pulmonologist, Children's Hospital of Orange County
"Yvonne and Dennis Eldridge have tried to climb every mountain when it has come to caring for foster children."

Elaine Brown, Emergency Licensing Worker, Contra Costa County Social Services Department

Tasha and Denisha, two critically ill infants, were placed in the Eldridge home through the Baby Moms Program. Tasha came in October, 1987 and Denisha in January, 1991. Yvonne's legal problems and her hellish nightmare began when the Eldridges placed Tasha on their health plan through Kaiser Walnut Creek. Dr. Marc Usatin became Tasha's Pediatrician and primary care provider.

Tasha came into the Eldridge home at seven months of age, weighing only seven pounds seven ounces. She was unable to roll over or to lift her head up by herself. She had profound medical problems which are briefly summarized in Tasha's medical summary.

Denisha also had numerous and serious medical problems, which are likewise briefly described in Denisha's medical summary. We have to summarize Tasha's and Denisha's medical histories because they are far too lengthy to reproduce here. For the first five years of Tasha's life and several years of Denisha's life, there are 10,000 pages of medical records!

To make an exceedingly long story very short, after providing questionable care for Tasha and Denisha, and making offensive sexual advances to both Yvonne and Yvonne's teenage daughter (which were forcefully rejected, and yes, we have witnesses), Dr. Usatin began a systematic crusade to pin the blame for Tasha's and Denisha's medical problems on Yvonne. Beginning in October, 1991 Dr. Usatin began making an ever-expanding list of false charges and allegations against Yvonne to Contra Costa Children's Protective Services. After a year-long investigation, Contra Costa County concluded that the charges were unfounded and refused to prosecute.

Just four months after the District Attorney declined to file charges, Yvonne's daughter, Amber, gave birth to her first son and the Eldridge's first grandchild. Shortly after giving birth, Amber was shocked to see Dr. Usatin glaring at her from the doorway of her hospital room.

It wasn't long before two individuals, accompanied by two Walnut Creek police officers, entered Amber's hospital room. Without identifying herself, one of the individuals marched over to Amber's newborn son, picked him up and immediately left the room.

In a state of utter shock and horror, Amber began screaming for her precious son. The two police officers stood nearby with embarrassed grins on their faces. After a short period of time, Amber was told that the Department of Social Services was placing her baby in a foster home. Amber had to wait for four very long days before she was told where they had taken her baby boy. The Eldridges later learned that this episode was the brain child of Dr. Usatin.

In Juvenile Court, the Department of Social Services claimed that Amber's son should be placed in a foster home because Amber was living with her parents. Keep in mind that a year-long investigation of Dr. Usatin's accusations against Yvonne had just shown his claims to be unfounded.

Incredibly, the Department of Social Services threatened Amber that another foster family wanted to adopt her baby and in order for her to be given custody of her son, they said she must sign a document with the following three provisions:

   1. Amber had to permanently move out of her parents home (with her son). This meant she had to go on welfare.
   2. Amber was never to allow her son to be alone with Yvonne.
   3. Amber was to admit her mother suffered from Munchausen's Syndrome by Proxy. 

Amber courageously refused to sign this outlandish and false document. True to their word, the Department of Social Services did not release Amber's son, but the family kept right on fighting for his release. Persistence paid off, and Amber was finally given temporary custody of her son. Her son, however, was now in the system, and Social Services, knowing Amber had not gone along with their program, had other plans for her baby son.

Dr. Usatin, meanwhile, disappointed that the Contra Costa County District Attorney concluded that there was no case here, continued his campaign to destroy Yvonne and was eventually able to convince an attorney in the California State Attorney General's office by the name of Joyce Blair to prosecute.

All of the originals of the children's medical records were removed from area hospitals by the Prosecutor. Usually in cases such as this, copies of the medical records are made and the originals left with the hospital, but in this case, the Prosecutor removed all the originals and kept them in her own private office. This made it difficult for Yvonne to defend herself. It eventually cost her $4,000 of her own money to obtain copies of the medical records.

Denisha was a just a baby and was in the Eldridge's care for just ten months. Tasha, however, was with them for four and one half years. Yvonne and Dennis were the only Mommy and Daddy Tasha knew, and Tasha was very much a loved little girl. To the Eldridges, to lose Tasha was to lose a daughter.

The heart-breaking day finally came when Denisha and five year old Tasha were tearfully taken from the Eldridge's home by Social Services. This was an exceedingly heart-wrenching event, not only for Dennis and Yvonne, but for their three daughters and Tasha and Denisha as well.

They were suddenly yanked from their home, their Mommy, their Daddy and their three older doting sisters and carted away by strangers. Unbelievably, Yvonne's parents, who were also foster parents, had their foster children removed from their home as well, even though they did not live with Yvonne and no charges were ever filed against them.

After Dr. Usatin's baseless allegations against Yvonne became public, media coverage of the proceedings brought an enormous amount of pain to the entire Eldridge family. Here is just a small sampling:

   1. The Eldridge's three daughters were shunned by their friends at school.
   2. Chandra, the Eldridge's youngest daughter, was forced by school officials to see a psychiatrist at school because of all the media attention.
   3. Rocks and various objects were constantly being thrown at the Eldridge's home.
   4. Obscenities were hurled by passers-by.
   5. Numerous obscene and threatening phone calls were made to their home.
   6. Legal fees mounted rapidly.
   7. The family lived in constant fear of their physical safety. 

Because of these concerns, the Eldridges decided to relocate to the Pacific Northwest. The family packed up all their belongings and headed north on Interstate 5. They found a home and moved in, hoping to forget the nightmare they had just left behind in Walnut Creek. Unfortunately, this was not to be.

At 11:15 A.M. on a cool February morning in 1994, the Eldridges were startled by the sound of someone banging on their front door. As they approached the door to open it, they saw their home surrounded by police officers, including Detective Gorman from Walnut Creek.

Upon opening the door, a Eugene police officer handed them a search warrant for their home and an arrest warrant for Amber's little 11 month old son. A Lane County Department of Social Services worker proclaimed that the little boy was to be delivered to the Contra Costa Department of Social Services. Rather than wait for 15 minutes for Amber to arrive home for lunch, the social worker immediately picked up the boy and left.

You can imagine Amber's pain and anger, upon coming home, to find her precious baby boy had been forcibly taken (again), and was to be placed in a foster home. With tears streaming down her face, Amber asked why they took her son. She was told it was because she failed to keep an appointment for a "hearing" in Juvenile Court. Amber, who never received notice of any "hearing", angrily retorted, "It would have been nice to know about this so-called hearing."

The officers conducted a four-hour search of the residence, and confiscated a number of items (which have never been returned). One wonders about some of the things they took, such as:

    * All of the Eldridges' copies of Tasha's medical records
    * Their daughters' cabbage patch dolls
    * Numerous picture albums
    * College books belonging to the Eldridges' eldest daughter, Tamara
    * Dennis' computer
    * All copies of a book Dennis had spent several years of pains-taking work writing about the incredible experiences of his family
    * A case of pectin, used for home canning 

Upon reading the search warrant and the unique declaration attached to it, the Eldridges were astounded to read a statement by Dr. Usatin and Dr. Schrier that upon entering the Eldridge's home to execute the search warrant, the police officers "would most likely find [Amber's son] to be in dire need of medical attention."

Before the social worker left the home with the baby boy, she told Detective Gorman with a puzzled look on her face, "this baby looks perfectly healthy to me". As he was being carried out the door, one of the officers was heard to say, "the baby looks fine to me".

Later that same day, the Eldridges purchased an airline ticket for Amber so she could fly down to California to regain custody of her son. He was so upset and confused that he became ill and refused to eat. In an effort to be near her son, Amber was forced to drop out of school and relocate to the Bay Area.

The Department of Social Services informed Amber that she was in denial about her mother's "mental illness" and that her son would remain in foster care until she received the proper counseling. Simply put, if Amber wanted her son back, she had to do what Social Services wanted, when they wanted, and for as long as they wanted. The entire Eldridge family felt totally frustrated and utterly helpless.

While Amber was in California trying to regain custody of her son, Yvonne learned that Dr. Usatin had contacted the Contra Costa County Department of Social Services and told them that if they failed to put Amber's son in a foster home, he "would quit sending referrals to Social Services and no longer testify at [their] hearings."

Amber finally was awarded custody of her son after he was in a foster home for five months. The case was immediately closed. After all this, the only negative comment about Amber the Department of Social Services could muster was that she was too attached to her family.

Two weeks before Thanksgiving in 1994, Yvonne was told by her attorney that a prosecuting attorney by the name of Joyce Blair was going to seek a Grand Jury indictment against Yvonne for "child endangerment" caused by her mental illness of Munchausen's Syndrome by Proxy (MSBP).

The Grand Jury was a foregone conclusion and amounted to a Kangaroo court for the following reasons:

   1. A Grand Jury is conducted by the Prosecuting Attorney
   2. The Prosecuting Attorney decides what evidence will be presented to the Grand Jury
   3. The Defense is not permitted to cross examine witnesses brought before the Grand Jury
   4. The Defense is not allowed to call their own witnesses 

In other words, you are at the mercy of the Prosecuting Attorney. The system assumes the Prosecutor is acting fairly, objectively and in good faith. Dr. Usatin, Dr. Schrier, Det. Gorman and Dr. Albin, cooperating with the Prosecuting Attorney, made one false statement after another to the Grand Jury.

Due to the format of the Grand Jury, the defense was not allowed to refute or cross-examine these false witnesses who outdid themselves in the sheer volume of their outrageous and ludicrous testimony. There was never any doubt as to the outcome of the Grand Jury, even before it started. Right on queue, Yvonne was indicted on two counts of "child endangerment", one count for Tasha, the other for Denisha.

By the time the case came to trial, the Eldridges had already exhausted their finances in legal fees and were unable to afford another lawyer, so they were forced to rely upon the Public Defender's office for their defense.

This proved to be most unfortunate, since not much of a defense was ever mounted. Almost none of the 10,000 pages of medical reports from Tasha and Denisha proving Yvonne was not guilty of any of the charges were presented to the jury. Doctors, nurses, social workers and other credible witnesses who had worked directly with Yvonne asked to be allowed to testify on her behalf. The Public Defender, however, did not allow any of them to testify.

The only witness called to testify was Yvonne herself on her own behalf. Her testimony, however, was not believed by the jury because the prosecution had pulled the magic bunny out of the hat and convinced the jury that Yvonne was a liar and indeed guilty of their false allegations. Dr. Schrier, one of the prosecution's star "expert" witnesses at the Grand Jury, testified that Yvonne was mentally ill, suffered from MSBP, was a pathological liar and nothing she said could be believed.

This was ludicrous testimony. Nothing could be further from the truth. In fact, Yvonne is a devout, God-fearing Christian who believes any sort of untruth or deception is morally and ethically wrong. She is completely trustworthy and truthful. She does not have this disorder. She was never objectively and clinically tested or diagnosed with this disorder. The only contact Dr. Schrier had with Yvonne prior to his testimony was a 30 minute interview conducted in his office under highly contrived and false pretenses. It went like this:

Tasha had just been taken from her home. Detective Gorman of the Walnut Creek police department called Yvonne on the phone and offered her a way of getting Tasha back. If she would just come for a meeting to the office of Dr. Schrier (whom she had never met before), she could "clear up this whole thing" and get Tasha back. The perfect setup. The trap was loaded, set and ready to go.

After just a 30 minute conversation, Dr. Schrier pronounced his "diagnosis". Yvonne was suffering from MSBP. Several things should be noted at this point.

   1. It was later learned that Dr. Schrier actually made his "diagnosis" of Yvonne before even meeting or speaking with her.
   2. MSBP is controversial in the scientific community. Some respected researchers do not believe this is even a real disorder.
   3. Claiming someone has MSBP is a convenient way to publicly smear their good name with a charge that is almost impossible to defend against.
   4. If a doctor accuses ("diagnoses") you of being a pathological liar, how do you convince people you're telling the truth? If a doctor says it is so, it is eternally so.
   5. Dr. Schrier was in the process of writing a book on the subject of MSBP at the time he testified against Yvonne. Based soley upon a deceitful 30 minute conversation with Yvonne, he devoted an entire chapter in his book to discussing Yvonne's "case", using the false statements he made about her to support his own theories and views about the "disorder". 

Just as the outcome of the Grand Jury was never in doubt even before it started, the outcome of Yvonne's trial at the Superior Court of the state of California was likewise a foregone conclusion. Det. Gorman, Drs. Usatin and Albin, along with the Prosecutor, repeated the performance they gave at the Grand Jury, telling one bold-faced lie after another. They carefully avoided quoting the medical records of Tasha and Denisha, but instead referred to them in broad, sweeping characterizations which were absolutely wrong and totally the opposite of what the medical records really showed.

Unbelievably, Yvonne's Public Defender did not properly cross-examine these false witnesses. He did not produce a list of all the false testimony they gave under oath. Amazingly, he did not even produce witnesses of his own to contradict all the false testimony. He did not discuss the mountain of evidence in the children's medical records that showed that Yvonne was an outstanding and loving caregiver and was not only very quick to notice problems that Tasha and Denisha were having, but also very quick to get them the medical help they needed.

Why Yvonne's Public Defender did not call any witnesses remains a mystery. It was certainly not because there weren't any to call. Doctors and nurses who were part of the medical team caring for Tasha and Denisha asked to be allowed to testify that the charges against Yvonne were false, but the Public Defender did not allow them to testify. Yvonne had school officials at Tasha's school, social workers who worked with Tasha and Denisha, Yvonne's three daughters, her husband and numerous other credible witnesses who were ready to testify on her behalf, but Yvonne's Public Defender did not allow any of them to testify.

Yvonne had 10,000 pages of medical records which clearly showed beyond a shadow of a doubt the Prosecution's witnesses were lying through their teeth. For some reason, the Public Defender presented hardly any of it to set the record straight.

Contributing to the problem, no doubt, was the fact that the Public Defender did not possess his own copy of Tasha's and Denisha's medical records. Throughout the entire trial, the only copies of the medical records were safely locked away in the personal office of the Prosecutor. Whenever the Public Defender wanted to view them, he had to make an appointment to go to the Prosecutor's personal office to do so. Was he shown all of the records, or just the portions of the records the Prosecutor wanted him to see? We'll probably never know. We do know that to this day, the Judge has not been shown all of the documentation that should have been presented at the trial.

Understandably, hearing only the Prosecution's side of things, the jury found Yvonne guilty of two counts of child endangerment and the Judge sentenced her to 40 months in prison.

Almost nine years after it started, Yvonne's hellish nightmare is still going on. Her sentence has been temporarily set aside and she is currently free on bail while attempting to obtain a retrial. The Prosecutor has been vigorously throwing roadblock after roadblock in the way to prevent a retrial.

In September of 1996 Yvonne's new attorney, Ms. Zenia Gilg and her associate Ms. Kristen Judd presented a Motion for Retrial to the court. The motion totaled 1,400 pages filled with carefully documented instances of false testimony by the prosecution's witnesses during the trial. The retrial motion also documented numerous failures on the part of Yvonne's Public Defender during the trial to provide a reasonable defense. Based upon the overwhelming documentation contained in the Motion for Retrial, the Court granted Yvonne a retrial in January 1998.

The Prosecutor, as expected, appealed the retrial, claiming the Judge did not have authority to grant a retrial and that Yvonne's Public Defender did a good job of defending her during the trial. The Prosecutor's appeal was heard in February of 2000 before a panel of judges. The Eldridges were notified in April of 2000 the decision of the court was that Yvonne did receive a good defense (incredible!) and that Judge Spinetta (the Judge who heard Yvonne's case and granted her the retrial) could make the final decision whether or not Yvonne will receive a retrial.

The Eldridges are currently waiting for an "Evidentuary Hearing" to be scheduled. They are hoping and praying that this will be the hearing where they are finally granted a retrial, where all the evidence can be presented, where the whole truth can be told, and where all the many lies of unscrupulous individuals which have visciously destroyed Yvonne's good name and repeatedly tried to rip her family apart can finally be revealed.

Many false charges and accusations have been slanderously made against Yvonne. Lies too numerous to count have been made in the press and in the courtroom. None of them have any truth whatsoever. None of them can be backed up with objective facts and data. In fact, an overwhelming mountain of evidence exists proving Yvonne didn't do and couldn't have done what she was charged with doing.

As incredible as it may seem, the Prosecutor had all of this evidence before the trial even started, but she has gone ahead anyway with her efforts to destroy an innocent and beautiful human being. We tell here only a very small part of Yvonne's story. Innumerable insults, prejudice and injustices have been hurled at this family who represents the noblest of human virtues by trying to reach out, love and care for children few others wanted to care for.

Thank you for reading this short version of Yvonne's story. Just a small sampling of the Prosecution's outlandish charges can be found elsewhere on this web site. If you would like more information on the medical problems Tasha and Denisha struggled with, we provide a very brief overview. We invite you to continue to browse our site to become more acquainted with this breach of public trust so egregious it's hard to believe it could happen in America.

 The Truth About the Charges

 The Prosecution's case against Yvonne is totally riddled with deliberately false and misleading testimony. Interestingly, every charge the Prosecution made against Yvonne can be easily refuted by direct evidence which was in the possession of the Prosecutor before the trial even started.

Throughout Yvonne's trial, the Prosecutor and her two star witnesses, Dr. Usatin and Dr. Albin, repeated the same mantra over and over:

    * Both Tasha and Denisha had only minor medical problems
    * Yvonne made up Tasha's headaches and seizures
    * Yvonne greatly exaggerated her constipation
    * Yvonne caused unnecessary hospitalizations and medical procedures by these exaggerations
    * The two girls were thus made to endure needless pain and suffering 

Were we to attempt to document all of the innumerable lies, smears, innuendos, and false and misleading testimony made by the prosecution against Yvonne, it would fill an exceedingly large volume.

Instead of that, we present the following table containing just a very small sampling of perjurous testimony by prosecution witnesses, presented side by side with the real truth about each charge. Each of the facts we present here can be backed up by medical records and other objective documentation. Keep in mind, there is a great deal more to this story than we present here. This is just the tip of the iceberg.

Claims by the Prosecution
and the Prosecution's witnesses  The Claims Debunked
Dr. Usatin and Dr. Albin repeatedly claimed that Tasha and Denisha were basically healthy children in prime condition and had only minor medical problems (mostly caused by Yvonne).  Both Tasha and Denisha were born prematurely to drug-addicted mothers. Denisha was born in a toilet. A brief summary of the medical problems both girls experienced from birth is as follows:


    * At seven months of age, Tasha weighed only seven pounds seven ounces
    * She was unable to roll over by herself
    * She was unable to hold her head up
    * Chronic lung disease (required oxygen, had to have an open lung biopsy)
    * Hydrocephalus (water on the brain)
    * Large ASD (hole in the heart, required open heart surgery to repair)
    * Failure to thrive
    * Reflux
    * Arnold Chairi malformation of the brain (causes headaches) 

The medical equipment Tasha required in order to come home from the hospital was as follows:

    * NG feeding tube
    * Kangaroo pump (pump that gradually dispenses small amounts of liquid food)
    * Oxygen 

If Tasha was basically a normal little girl, why did the doctors at the hospital require a feeding tube, a Kangaroo pump and oxygen? How many normal children do you know who have a home care nurse visit them periodically to check their feeding tubes and make sure all their medical equipment is functioning as it should?

As for exaggerating Tasha's symptoms, it would have been difficult for Yvonne to do that before she even took Tasha home for the first time. Apparently, doctors and nurses at the hospital thought Tasha had more than a few "minor" health problems before Yvonne even took her home from the hospital.


    * Prematurely born - 27 weeks
    * Severe hyaline membrane disease
    * Pulmonary interstitial emphysema
    * Patent ductus arteriosus, S/P indocin closure
    * Hypotension
    * Renal Failure (kidney failure)
    * Bronchopulmonary dysplasia (lung disease)
    * Culture proven candida sepsis and staph epi sepsis
    * Retinopathy of prematurity, Stage II bilaterally
    * Failed hearing screening
    * Infant of a cocaine using mother 

These were birth defects, not anything caused by Yvonne. These multiple and serious health problems are documented in the medical records long before Yvonne met them for the first time, or brought them into her home.

Do these sound like nearly normal children to you? Do these sound like only "minor" health problems? Dr. Usatin and Dr. Albin testified these children were in "prime condition". If this is "prime condition", one wonders what a "serious" problem might look like.
Drs. Usatin and Albin testified that Yvonne exaggerated the girls' symptoms, causing unnecessary medical procedures.  In fact, exactly the opposite was true. Instead of exaggerating symptoms, Yvonne was concerned that Dr. Usatin was doing too much for Tasha. In particular, Yvonne was concerned that Dr. Usatin was over-medicating Tasha and she wondered if perhaps some of Tasha's symptoms might be due to the medications she was on.

On numerous occasions, Yvonne told Dr. Usatin that she felt Tasha was on too many medications. Dr. Usatin's standard response was always "Yvonne, I know you are upset with Tasha being on all these medications, but Tasha needs them. If you withhold any of Tasha's medications, I will have to report you to Social Services."

About Dr. Usatin's testimony that Yvonne's exaggerations caused unnecessary medical procedures to be performed on the girls, it is interesting to note that every one of those "unnecessary" medical procedures was authorized and ordered by none other than Dr. Usatin himself, the primary care provider for both girls. In addition to that interesting little fact is this one: Other highly respected doctors and surgeons also were convinced the procedures were not only necessary, but vital for the girls' very survival.

The truth is, some of these conditions were life threatening. Both girls were born with these major medical conditions. Yvonne could not possibly have caused these birth defects. The medical records show they were present from birth, long before Yvonne even met them for the first time. Numerous doctors and nurses witnessed these defects and documented them extensively before Yvonne had even met them.

Yvonne did not make up or exaggerate any of the symptoms suffered by these girls. Yvonne was not the only one to witness them. Doctors and nurses that cared for these girls after coming into the Eldridge home personally witnessed the symptoms Yvonne is supposed to have made up. Yvonne's own three daughters and her husband witnessed them. Teachers and school officials at Tasha's school witnessed them.

If you're still not convinced that these two girls had more than minor medical problems, we have more information on the medical histories of Tasha and Denisha.
Drs. Usatin and Albin testified under oath that:

    * Yvonne made up the story that Tasha had headaches, constipation and seizures.

    * Seizures and constipation are not side effects of the numerous medications Dr. Usatin had Tasha on.

    * Tasha's seizures had never been observed by a health care provider.

    * Dr. Usatin testified that the only side effect of all the medications he ordered for Tasha was drowsiness. 

 This is interesting testimony. Doctors, nurses and school officials who personally had to clean up Tasha's explosive diarrhea are ready to testify that it was far more than a figment of Yvonne's imagination. Tasha's home care nurse can testify to personally witnessing severe constipation, diarrhea and also seizures.

Numerous doctors and nurses at the hospital, as well as family and friends witnessed Tasha's seizures. After Tasha's colon surgery, her surgeon, Dr. de Lorimier wrote in her discharge summary:

    "The patient's seizure disorder was evaluated by the Pediatric Neurology staff as Tasha had been having several absence seizures per day - However, her absence seizures were not prevented." 

Yvonne was not the only one who noticed Tasha's migraines, either. Her home care nurse also observed the migraines suffered by the little girl, and wrote concerning them. Numerous Kaiser nurses observed Tasha having pain in her head. Dr. Usatin himself told Dennis and Yvonne that Tasha's Arnold Chairi malformation of the brain and her hydrocephalus (water on the brain) was the cause of Tasha's headaches.

As for drowsiness being the only side effect of the many medications Dr. Usatin ordered for Tasha, consider just a few of the side effects of these medications listed in the authoritative Physician's Desk Reference (we only list some of the side effects since the full list is too long to reproduce here):

Tasha's Medications Ordered By Dr. Usatin Medication  Side Effects

100mg QID
(4 times daily)  

    * Worsening of seizures
    * Nausea
    * Vomiting
    * Abdominal pain
    * Diarrhea
    * Dizziness
    * Vertigo
    * Ataxia
    * Fatigue 

2cc TID
(3 times daily)  

    * Muscle weakness
    * Tremors
    * Nausea
    * Vomiting
    * Indigestion
    * Diarrhea
    * Abdominal cramps
    * Constipation
    * Sedatation
    * Depression
    * Psychosis
    * Behavioral deterioration 

3cc BID
(2 times daily)  

    * Headache
    * Nausea
    * Diarrhea 

2.5cc BID
(2 times daily)  

    * Hallucinations
    * Nausea
    * Vomiting
    * Diarrhea
    * Increased airway resistance
    * Fatigue
    * Lethargy
    * Vivid dreams 

2.5cc QID
(4 times daily)  

    * Headache
    * Convulsions
    * Muscle twitching
    * Nausea
    * Vomiting
    * Diarrhea
    * Insomnia 

2cc TID
(3 times daily)  

    * Headache
    * Mental confusion
    * Dizziness
    * Muscle pain
    * Transient diarrhea 

2.5cc QID
(4 times daily)  

    * Involuntary motor activity
    * Drowsiness 

4cc QID
(4 times daily)  

    * Mental confusion
    * Nausea
    * Vomiting
    * Abdominal pain
    * GI ulcerations, obstructions, perforation 

5cc BID
(2 times daily)  

    * Headache
    * Mental depression
    * Convulsions
    * Hallucinations
    * Nausea
    * Vomiting
    * Diarrhea
    * Abdominal pain 

2cc TID
(3 times daily)  

    * Abdominal discomfort and pain
    * Diarrhea 

Inhaled Intal
(2 times daily)  

    * Dizziness
    * Headache
    * Wheezing
    * Nausea 

(2 times daily)  

    * Tremor
    * Nervousness
    * Dizziness
    * Insomnia
    * Headache
    * Heartburn
    * Nausea
    * Vomiting
    * Muscle cramps 

Drowsiness is the only side effect, huh? Interesting...
Dr. Usatin testified under oath that Yvonne put a hole in Tasha's broviac line and inserted fecal matter into it on two occasions, causing infection. He also made this accusation to Child Protective Services.  It turned out later upon examination that the two "occasions" were really both the same event. During one of Tasha's hospitalizations, Yvonne noticed a spot of blood on Tasha's sheet and immediately told her nurse about it. Keep in mind Tasha had daily blood draws through her broviac line (feeding tube).

The broviac has both an inner sheath and an outer sheath. An independent examination of Tasha’s broviac line by Dr. Bruce Locke, senior surgeon at Kaiser Walnut Creek hospital, revealed a pin-sized hole in the external sheath, but the inner sheath was fully intact.

Had Yvonne tampered with the broviac, the blood spot on Tasha's sheet would have had to come from the inner sheath as well as the outer, but since there was no hole in the inner sheath, there could have been no leakage from it.

Yvonne had nothing to do with the blood spot, which was most likely caused by a routine blood draw done by hospital personnel. Tasha's nurse would have testified (had she been allowed to), that Yvonne had nothing to do with the hole in the outer sheath of Tasha's broviac, since it occurred while Yvonne was not even in the hospital!

Two cultures were taken of Tasha's broviac during this episode, and both were negative. Results from both cultures were available to Dr. Usatin before he called CPS accusing Yvonne of putting a hole in Tasha's broviac and inserting fecal matter into it.

As for Dr. Usatin's ridiculous charge that Yvonne put fecal matter in Tasha's broviac, all of Tasha's caregivers had to continually be careful to keep her broviac clear of fecal matter. Tasha's extreme diarrhea would run up her back and over the broviac, contaminating it.
Dr. Usatin testified to the Grand Jury concerning Tasha, "She had normal lungs".  An open lung biopsy was performed on Tasha prior to being placed in the Eldridge's home to determine why she had severe lung disease. After coming into the Eldridge home, an infant pulmonary function test was performed, revealing that Tasha:

    * Had severe obstructive lung disease with air trapping
    * Had increased airway resistance and decreased flows
    * Was not significantly responsive to bronchodilator medicines. 

One and a half years later, a Kaiser pulmonologist assessed Tasha as having chronic lung disease. Normal lungs, huh?
The Prosecution claimed Tasha gained weight while in the hospital and lost weight (failed to thrive) while in Yvonne's home.  Frankly, Tasha's medical records show just the opposite. She tended to lose weight in the hospital and had her best weight gains when she was in Yvonne's home. Consider Tasha's weight gains/losses while she was in the hospital for the period in question:

to the
Hospital  Discharged
from the
Hospital  Change in Weight
10/11/87 10/29/87 No weight change
10/31/87 11/12/87 Lost 9 ounces
11/24/87 11/25/87 Lost 10 ounces
11/26/87 11/29/87 Lost 4 ounces
12/19/87 12/22/87 Gained 1 ounce
12/24/87 12/24/87 ** Gained 1 pound
2 ounces
03/21/88 03/28/87 Lost 2 ounces
04/02/88 04/03/88 Lost 12 ounces
12/27/88 12/31/88 Lost 5 ounces
09/27/89 10/02/89 Lost 3 lbs 

** This hospitalization was for severe vomiting and dehydration. Tasha was put on IV for fluid replacement, which just might have something to do with the only significant gain in weight she experienced during her hospital stays.

The weight chart simply does not show that as a rule, Tasha gained weight in the hospital. In fact, she lost a total of 71 ounces in her hospital stays during the two year period of October 1987-1989. Tasha's real weight gains occurred between hospital stays, while she was in Yvonne's home.
Dr. Usatin told Child Protective Services Yvonne broke Tasha's hip.  Tasha's foot was accidentally stepped on by another child at school. The next day she was still limping, so Yvonne took her to the doctor. The doctor who saw her believed her hip to be broken. Tasha had to lay flat on her back for close to a month in traction before another doctor discovered Tasha's hip was, in fact, never broken. The X-rays had been misread.

Dr. Usatin made the accusation to CPS that Yvonne broke her hip. After the discovery that the hip was never in fact broken, Dr. Usatin did not remove his charge against Yvonne with CPS, nor correct the very wrong information they had about Yvonne.

There is the one small additional item of the written and signed report by school officals stating the injury to Tasha's foot (not her hip) happened at school by another child stepping on it. Yvonne had nothing whatsoever to do with this (or any other) injury to Tasha.
Dr. Schrier testified that Yvonne suffers from Munchausen's Syndrome by Proxy (MSBP) and is a pathological liar.  The truth:

    * Yvonne was never properly evaluated in an objective clinical setting by a objective mental health professional.
    * Dr. Herbert Schrier testified that Yvonne suffers from MSBP after chatting with her for only 30 minutes under false pretenses and highly contrived circumstances. Pretty slim evidence...
    * Dr. Schrier actually made his "diagnosis" before he even met with Yvonne for the first (and only) time! Here is a brand new medical discovery, that a serious mental illness can be reliably diagnosed without even having to meet the patient in person...
    * Dr. Schrier is a personal friend of Dr. Usatin (who is the one trying to frame Yvonne). Totally objective, are we?
    * At the time, the doctor was in the process of writing a book on the subject of MSBP. His book was released shortly after he falsely testified at Yvonne's trial. An entire chapter in his book is devoted to Yvonne, slanderously filled with untrue and unsupportable smears of her good character and good name. Ulterior motives, perhaps?
    * Dr. Schrier did not interview Yvonne's daughters or other family members in an attempt to reach a truthful, medical diagnosis, supported by facts and data.
    * If Yvonne had MSBP, why would she have harmed only Tasha and Denisha, but not harmed her own three daughters, two other foster children (Kent and Glenisha), or her husband? It doesn't add up, folks...
    * One of her daughters was examined at school by a Psychiatrist who reported that the daughter certainly was not the result of a MSBP Mom.
    * None of Yvonne's three daughters nor her husband were allowed to testify by the Public Defender that their mom and wife definitely did not have MSBP, and definitely did not harm or endanger either Tasha or Denisha. 

Dr. Usatin charged that Yvonne was responsible for Dr. de Lorimier removing a portion of Tasha's colon in an unnecessary surgery. Dr. Usatin testified under oath that he "was unaware that a portion of Tasha's colon may have to be removed".  Since Tasha was under the Eldridge's health plan at Kaiser, an HMO, Dr. Usatin's testimony could not be true for the following reasons:

    * All covered medical services under the plan had to be authorized by her primary care physician.
    * The Eldridges certainly did not pay for the surgery themselves. It was a covered medical expense by their health plan. Proper authorization for this surgery was obtained beforehand (or Kaiser would not have covered the procedure).
    * The surgery was performed at a non Kaiser facility by a non Kaiser doctor. The surgery would not have been performed unless her primary care physician referred the patient and authorized the surgery.
    * Dr. de Lorimier wrote a letter to Dr. Usatin dated September 25, 1989 stating that "replacing Tasha's button in a Partial Colectomy might be performed." After numerous tests and consultations between Dr. de Lorimier and Dr. Usatin, Tasha was scheduled for surgery by Dr. Usatin. 

It is also curious that Dr. Usatin claims he was not aware of the upcoming Total Colectomy, when he prepared the GENERAL ANESTHESIA portion of Tasha's patient examination for that surgery on September 25, 1989.
Dr. Usatin testified Tasha was hospitalized on January 2, 1990 because Yvonne claimed Tasha wasn't tolerating feedings and had diarrhea, migraines and seizures. He further testified that during her hospital stay:

    "... she [Tasha] tolerated feeds via her gastrostomy with very little diarrhea, gained weight, had no migraines, no seizures, and was active and not somnolent or sleepy..." 

In other words, Dr. Usatin claimed Yvonne made up all the symptoms she described and when Tasha was hospitalized, none of them were observed.  Dr. Usatin must have forgotten that he himself examined Tasha on the same day she was admitted to the hospital, January 2, 1990. We quote from Dr. Usatin's own medical report:

    "While in my office this afternoon, child was extremely lethargic and rigid with more spasticity than previously seen. Pupils slightly unequal while in totally lethargic state, although returned to more normal status as she awakened. Also exhibited some seizure activity with left sided head turning and left head in air and right head down with extreme body stiffening and opisthotonos which is a new seizure variety from previously." 

Tasha's medical records from her hospital stay further reveal she had constant diarrhea and two seizures were observed.
On February 13, 1988 Yvonne brought Tasha to Kaiser because she was limp, vomiting and having difficulty breathing. Dr. Usatin testified under oath at the Grand Jury:

    "When she was admitted though, to the hospital - with no limp episodes, no breathing stops, nothing of that variety was noted at the hospital." 

 Dr. Escobar, Tasha's admitting physician that day, disagrees. Dr. Escobar notes that Tasha was:

    "... in alternating states of consciousness: comfortable then appears to be in real distress with throwing head back and appears in pain and very cranky but then calms down if mother holds her." 

Dr. Usatin testified under oath that Yvonne told several doctors Tasha had a cleft palate but "Tasha doesn't have a cleft palate."  One of Tasha's birth defects was a cleft palate. Dr. David Braun and Dr. Ann Petru state on their physical exam admission reports, "a small midline cleft on the palate."
Dr. Usatin testified in no uncertain terms that

    "Tasha does not have, did not have, does not have immunodeficiency." 

 During Tasha's neonatal course (before Yvonne) she was discovered to have absolute neutropenia (an immune deficiency) which required that she be placed in protective isolation.
Dr. Usatin accused Yvonne of "starving" Denisha.  This is a most interesting charge, since the feeding and care of Denisha was under Dr. Usatin's own strict orders. Denisha's feedings were laboriously and meticulously measured. Yvonne was concerned about Denisha, because she seemed to often be hungry. Yvonne repeatedly asked Dr. Usatin for permission to increase her feeds. One time on the phone, Yvonne begged the Dr. to do so.

The Dr. threatened Yvonne that if she deviated in any way from his prescribed care, he would permanently take all her children away from her. Even so, consider the following facts taken directly from Denisha's medical records:

    * The nine months that Denisha lived with Yvonne she had an average weight gain of 13.3 ounces per month.
    * This places her average monthly weight gain in the 36th percentile range while in Yvonne's home.
    * In the two years after Denisha was removed from Yvonne's care, Denisha's monthly weight gain averaged just 10.6 ounces.
    * In eleven months with the next foster mom, Denisha averaged a monthly weight gain of only 4.5 ounces.
    * We do not currently have access to the rest of Denisha's medical records, but we do know that in September of 1994, Denisha weighed 31 pounds.
    * This places her projected weight gain below the 5th percentile AFTER Denisha left Yvonne's care, but in the 36th percentile WHILE in Yvonne's care. Yvonne was the best thing that happened to Denisha.
    * The prosecution boasted a gain of two pounds during February-June, 1993, while not living with Yvonne. This is a fascinating assertion since the medical records show a net loss of one pound during this time frame. 

This doesn't sound like it was Yvonne who was doing the starving...
Dr. Usatin charged Yvonne with breaking Denisha's finger.  Denisha's left hand was swollen, so Yvonne called the nurse's attention to it. Upon examination, the I.V. had come out of the vein and had infiltrated under the skin. Her hand was X-rayed but there was no break. Three views were taken and they all showed "negative". There was evidence of an old break on her pinky that had healed, but that happened before Denisha came into Yvonne's care.
Dr. Albin stated to the Grand Jury she did not know why Tasha was on large doses of diuretics when there was no evidence of fluid retention. The implication was that Yvonne had exaggerated Tasha's symptoms and therefore unnecessary medications had been prescribed.  According to Tasha's medical records, on March 24, 1988, Dr. Tyndall at Kaiser hospital said, "No problems except fluid retention." On October 28, 1989, Dr. Hamill from Kaiser, Walnut Creek, said Tasha's wheezing was probably due to fluid retention. On October 30, 1989, Dr. Usatin stated Tasha had fluid in her lungs. The reason Tasha was on diuretics was that she had fluid retention and needed them. Don't you think a doctor would be able to tell if a child had fluid retention or not?
In an attempt to portray Yvonne as running from doctor to doctor and hospital to hospital, Dr. Albin testified to the Grand Jury:

    "... in September 1991, Mrs. Eldridge moved Denisha's care out of Kaiser, out of Children's Hospital Oakland and starts to get Denisha's care at UCSF." 

 The truth is, all three institutions were working together. Yvonne took Denisha to specialists at all three institutions because the doctors themselves referred her. As her primary care physician, Dr. Usatin approved of each referral. Remember, the Kaiser HMO would only cover referrals to outside specialists if they were done properly, in order and authorized by Denisha's primary care physician, Dr. Usatin.

Denisha was referred to Dr. Diane Wara at the Immunology department at UCSF by Dr. Ann Petru of Children's Hospital Oakland in March of 1991. Dr. Petru not only made the appointment, but sent a detailed letter to Dr. Wara about Denisha's medical history. Dr. Usatin concurred with Dr. Petru.
Dr. Albin testified that Denisha could not smile, sit, roll over or scoot around the floor while in Yvonne's home.  On September 17, 1991, Dr. Piecuch wrote a developmental assessment of Denisha and reported that a physical examination revealed Denisha to be "...a fragile, yet thriving former premie." Dr. Piecuch observed that Denisha "was very social and engaging." Developmentally, Dr. Piecuch reported that Denisha "was engaging in early sitting, rolling and early crawl." Dr. Piechuch was Denisha's UCSF Intensive Care Nursery physician following her tragic birth in a toilet.
On December 19, 1987, Tasha vomited immediately after feeding and was unresponsive for three minutes. Dr. Albin told the Grand Jury that Yvonne did not call 911, but rather, as an irresponsible parent "some time later" drove Tasha to the emergency room herself.  Had Dr. Albin checked the records, she would have found that Yvonne did call 911, and that Tasha was transported to the Kaiser, Walnut Creek emergency room via ambulance.
Dr. Albin testified to the Grand Jury under oath that June, 1989 was the first time Yvonne complained of Tasha having severe constipation.  Dr. Albin must have overlooked the occasion on February 10, 1988 when Yvonne brought Tasha's constipation to the attention of Dr. Shay. Similarly, three days later on February 13, 1988, while an in-patient of Kaiser, Walnut Creek, Tasha was given a rectal suppository for constipation. These are just two of many examples which could be given. Note that both of these instances were more than a year prior to June, 1989.
In another portion of Dr. Albin's Grand Jury testimony, she stated there was no laboratory evidence that indicated Tasha's colon surgery was necessary. During Yvonne's trial, Dr. Albin continually made the statement that Tasha's colon was normal and should not have been removed.  In a letter to Dr. Usatin, Dr. de Lorimier, a UCSF surgeon, stated,

    "Bigger problem is constipation. Will perform a barium enema study which will predictably show a hugely dilated colon from the cecum to the anal canal."

On September 27, 1989, Dr. de Lorimier stated,

    "...will do a subtotal colectomy to remove greatly dilated and ineffective colon." 

Dr. Albin made the amazing comment that Tasha was scheduled for colon surgery without the recommendation of the treating physician, Dr. Usatin.  Dr. Albin must have forgotten that Tasha was on the Eldridge's health plan at Kaiser, an HMO. Any surgery or procedure performed on a Kaiser patient, at a non-Kaiser facility, by a non-Kaiser doctor had to be pre-approved by the Kaiser treating physician.

Yvonne called Kaiser, Walnut Creek from UCSF and was told, "will do [the surgery] on 10/2 and wants Tasha back at Kaiser when stable - Usatin says O.K." In addition, a UCSF patient registration form dated September 27, 1989, for Tasha's subtotal colectomy, listed Dr. Marc Usatin as the referring physician.
At the Grand Jury, Dr. Albin made the ridiculous statement that there was no documentation that Tasha had migraine headaches.  Tasha had an Arnold Chari malformation of the brain in addition to hydrocephalus (water on the brain). Dr. Usatin told the Eldridges the Arnold Chari malformation of the brain was the reason for Tasha's headaches. Inderal, which was prescribed by Dr. Usatin, is a medication given for headaches. There were also numerous observations by Kaiser nurses of Tasha experiencing pain in her head.
Dr. Albin told the Grand Jury the results of Tasha's EEG were available to Dr. Usatin on February 22, 1989 and that Yvonne began reporting seizures the following day. She concluded this part of her Grand Jury testimony by stating:

    "I can't find any record that there has ever been seizing before." 

 The nurse's notes from Children's Hospital show that Yvonne first complained about Tasha's violent shaking on December 27, 1987, more than a year earlier than Dr. Albin testified. On January 15, 1988 Tasha's first EEG was ordered by Dr. Wheeler, a Pediatric Neurologist at Kaiser, Walnut Creek. Dr. Wheeler stated:

    "... with her history, I have suggested we get a baseline EEG because of our concern for Tasha and her seizure-like activities. This EEG was mildly abnormal." 

There were four observed seizure activities witnessed by nurses before February 22, 1989. Dr. Wilson, the neurologist who read Tasha's EEG made mention that the record is consistent with the clinical observation.
While referring to December of 1987, Dr. Albin told the Grand Jury that Tasha was given new medications as though she had severe chronic lung disease.  The reason Tasha was given new medications as though she had severe chronic lung disease is that she did have severe chronic lung disease.
Dr. Albin testified that Denisha was in prime condition to do exceptionally well when she first left the ICN nursery and came into the Eldridge home.  This one isn't even close. Denisha was born in a toilet, 3 months premature, of a drug addicted mother. Denisha's medical records characterize her course of treatment in the Intensive Care Nursery as "stormy". She had many life threatening complications during her stay in the nursery. 

At birth, Denisha's Apgar scores were just 4 and 5. Apgar scores are a measure of how well a newborn is doing. Two evaluations are done. The first is performed at one minute after birth. The second is done five minutes after birth. The scores range from 1-10, with 7-10 indicating a normal baby. A score below 5 often indicates a baby requiring medical attention according to popular books on child birth. The second score is expected to be higher than the first, since the infant has had additional time to recover from the trauma of the birth process.

Since Denisha was not born in the hospital, she was not scored until she arrived at the hospital, later than the usual five minutes after her birth. Under these circumstances, her scores could be expected to be higher than normal, which makes the low scores she received even more remarkable.

At birth, Denisha weighed just one and a half pounds. When she was brought into the Eldridge home, she weighed just four pounds six ounces. She most certainly was not in prime condition, nor was she set to do exceptionally well.
Dr. Albin's testimony strongly suggested that Yvonne was responsible for Denisha's broken fingers, since there was no other hospital event, such as an IV, to explain the breaks, and because Yvonne was the one who identified the problem.  This testimony was ludicrous on several levels. First, Dr. Albin claimed Denisha had not had an IV in her hand recently. The nurse's notes on February 28, 1991 reveal that Denisha indeed had an IV. The IV in her hand had infiltrated, meaning the IV solution was going into the tissues of her hand instead of into her vein. Denisha's hand was indeed swollen, but an X-ray did not show a break in her hand at all. They did, however, reveal an old healed fracture in her right pinky, which happened before she was placed into the Eldridge's home.
Dr. Albin tried to convince Grand Jury that Denisha had almost no weight gain while in Yvonne's care. She stated:

    "And it doesn't explain why her weight is virtually the same as when she leaves the hospital. Over almost six months she has gained approximately a pound."

 Not being sure which hospitalization Dr. Albin was referring to, we went to the medical records of both of Denisha's intensive care hospitalizations while in Yvonne's care. Here is what we found:

Date  Event  Weight  Gain From
01/16/91  Eldridges first get Tasha after release from Intensive Care  4 lbs, 6 oz   
02/28/91  Tasha released from 2nd hospitalization after PCP pneumonia  6 lbs, 4 oz  1 lb, 14 oz
07/30/91  Six and a half months after the Eldridges got Denisha  9 lbs 10 oz  3 lbs, 6 oz
08/27/91  Seven and a half months after the Eldridges got Denisha  11 lbs, 10 oz  2 lbs

Seven and a half months after Denisha came into the Eldridge home, she weighed seven pounds four ounces more than when she first came. Except for one brief hospital stay, Denisha was in the Eldridge home the entire time. It is also interesting that on March 15, 1991 during Denisha's appointment with Dr. Keller at Kaiser, Walnut Creek, Dr. Keller wrote "good wt. [weight] gain."
Detective Gorman of the Walnut Creek Police Department was the investigating officer assigned to investigate Dr. Usatin's charges against Yvonne. His report to the District Attorney's office contains numerous false statements and preposterous, bold-faced lies. In attempting to portray Yvonne as suffering from a mental disorder, Det. Gorman makes this priceless statement:

    "Yvonne had a mentally ill son from a previous marriage." 

 This is pure fiction of the purest kind. Yvonne has been married only once. That is to her current husband, Dennis Eldridge. Yvonne has never had a son. The only children she has ever had are her three daughters. It might interest you to know that Det. Gorman and Dr. Usatin, the man whose claims Det. Gorman was investigating, are friends. Hmmmm...
Another choice gem on Det. Gorman's report was the charge that a hand gun was retrieved from the Eldridge home by the Walnut Creek Police Department in 1982.  In 1982, Dennis Eldridge was a Special Agent in Washington D.C. The Eldridges did not live in Walnut Creek, California. They lived in Springfield, Virginia. The Eldridges did not even own a home in Walnut Creek in 1982.
Perhaps the most hurtful zinger on Det. Gorman's report was his assertion that numerous children (babies) died while in the home of Yvonne Eldridge. These lies were plastered all over the newspapers and on television.  Here is the truth concerning these precious babies. 

1. The first Baby Moms baby was Glenisha. She was suffering from full-blown AIDS. The Eldridges brought her into their home at the request of her parents, who were unable to care for her, so that she would not have to die in the sterile environment of a hospital, but could spend her last days in a warm loving home. Knowing her death was imminent, Glenisha's physician signed her death certificate even before she died. Her tragic death had nothing whatsover to do with being in Yvonne's home.
   2. The second child mentioned in Det. Gorman's report died as a result of a heart defect (that went undetected by Dr. Usatin). An interesting fact strangely omitted from Det. Gorman's report is that for the last 10 months of his life, this child did not even live with the Eldridges, but stayed with his mother. The Eldridges did not have any contact with him during the entire time he was with his mother.
   3. Child number three was placed with the Eldridges by Baby Moms. He was suffering from severe lung disease. This poor baby had to remain in an oxygen tent at all times. Dennis and Yvonne decided this child needed to be in the hospital, not in a private home, so at their request, he was taken to Children's Hospital in Oakland. He remained in the intensive care nursery at Children's Hospital for the one and a half months prior to his death.
   4. The fourth and final baby in Det. Gorman's remarkable report was also placed with the Eldridges by Baby Moms, and was also suffering from severe lung disease. He passed away at Children's Hospital, Oakland immediately following exploratory surgery. 

All of these medically fragile children were prematurely born to drug addicted mothers. Glenisha was near death from AIDS even before she came into Yvonne's care. The three boys died of birth defects, not from anything Yvonne did. They did not even die in Yvonne's home, but rather, they died while in the care of others, or while in the hospital.

As you can imagine, to have such patently false, deliberate and vicious fraudulent charges made against you is bad enough, but when the charges are made public as though fact, and they come from a police officer who is supposed to uphold the law instead of breaking it, the pain is far worse.
In Detective Gorman's report to the Attorney General's office following the raid on the Eldridge's home in Eugene, he makes three very interesting statements:

   1. Yvonne Eldridge had applied for a license to become a foster parent in Eugene.
   2. Yvonne was a student at the University of Oregon, studying to become a nurse.
   3. The Eldridges were remodeling their home to make room for foster children. 

 The truth:

   1. After the unbelievably horrible way she has been treated, Yvonne Eldridge would be last person on earth to ever want to be a foster parent again. And no, she never applied for a foster care license in Oregon, and no, she didn't even think about applying for a foster care license in Oregon.
   2. Yvonne was not even enrolled at the University of Oregon and was not studying or hoping to become a nurse.
   3. No, the Eldridges were not remodeling their home to make room for foster children. They were having their home weatherized. 

This case boils down to several very simple questions:

   1. Does Yvonne have Munchausen's Syndrome by proxy or does she not?
   2. Did Yvonne exaggerate or make up symptoms for these two girls thereby exposing them to unneeded medications and medical procedures or did she not?
   3. Does Yvonne deserve another trial or does she not? 

Does Yvonne have Munchausen's Syndrome by Proxy? She does not in any way suffer from this or any other mental illness. She:

   1. Was never scientifically evaluated for Munchausen's Syndrome by proxy by an objective mental health practicioner. Only Dr. Schrier's word was taken. No second opinion by an unbiased and objective doctor was ever sought.
   2. The objectivity of Dr. Schrier's opinion is highly questionable. He had a conflict of interest on several counts.
   3. Was actually "diagnosed" with Munchausen's before Dr. Schrier even saw her, based solely upon talking with Dr. Usatin (who had several good reasons of his own to want to frame Yvonne).
   4. Has many qualified witnesses willing to testify that she does not now and never had this disease.
   5. Has doctors and nurses willing to testify that every one of the charges against Yvonne are totally false and contrived.
   6. Has 10,000 pages worth of medical records revealing that the doctors and nurses caring for Tasha and Denisha also witnessed the symptoms Dr. Usatin and Dr. Albin claim Yvonne made up. The medical procedures were necessary because the girls had multiple and serious medical problems. The girls were born with these problems. These conditions are documented in the medical records long before they came into Yvonne's care, and also after they left her care. 

Did Yvonne endanger or cause harm to Tasha and Denisha? In no way did Yvonne ever endanger or harm any of her own three children, or Tasha or Denisha. In fact, precisely the opposite is true.

Yvonne, her husband Dennis and their three daughters all loved these precious babies dearly. Yvonne poured her heart and soul into giving these children a warm, supportive and loving home. She worked tirelessly to give these children every chance to live healthy, productive lives. In spite of prosecution witnesses testimony to the contrary, the medical records of Tasha and Denisha clearly show both girls made remarkable progress under very difficult circumstances while in Yvonne's care.

The records show that Yvonne was an extra ordinary mom. She worked very hard to keep Tasha's and Denisha's medical equipment clean, keeping Tasha's feeding tube clean, carefully dispensing the endless medications these girls needed, taking them on endless trips to the doctor, staying with them in the hospital when they required hospitalization, and on and on the list goes. This was in addition to caring for her husband and her own three daughters.

We have statements from the doctors and nurses caring for Tasha and Denisha commenting on what wonderful care Yvonne gave these babies. If you were to meet Yvonne, you would immediately sense what her family and friends already know about her. She is an exceptionally warm, caring person and an awesome hostess. If you were to visit her home, you would be amazed at how gracious and how attentive she is to the needs of everyone around her. She is an incredible woman.

Does Yvonne deserve a retrial? Americans are supposedly guaranteed the right to a fair trial. Yvonne's trial was anything but fair. It was a mockery of justice, a travesty, and a disgrace. With regard to Yvonne's heart-felt plea for a retrial, consider these facts about her trial:

   1. Prosecution witnesses repeatedly, continuously and without letup knowingly gave outright false, deceptive and misleading testimony against Yvonne.
   2. An enormous body of solid, direct evidence was in the hands of both the Prosecutor and the Public Defender before the trial even started which contradicted all points of the Prosecution's case against Yvonne.
   3. Almost none of this evidence was ever brought up in court.
4. The Prosecutor, sworn to uphold the truth, knowingly allowed her witnesses to perjure themselves on innumerable occasions, and participated in the lies herself.
   5. Yvonne's Public Defender did not object to the selection of several jury members who were obviously not fair or impartial, including a man who admitted he was trying to get a job with the Prosecutor's office at the time of the trial. Not exactly an impartial jury member. Whatever happened to "conflict of interest?"
   6. During her trial, Yvonne's Public Defender did not call a single witness to testify on her behalf, even though doctors, nurses and others with direct contact with Tasha and Denisha asked to be allowed to testify on Yvonne's behalf, but were not allowed to do so.
   7. Yvonne's Public Defender did not refute the outrageous false and misleading testimony of the Prosecution's witnesses, even though the children's medical records proved them wrong.
   8. Yvonne's Public Defender did not object to the numerous unsupported conjectures, hear-say and opinions offered by the Prosecutor and the prosecution's witnesses as fact. 

All we ask is for another trial, since the first trial was not much of a trial. We seek a fair trial before an impartial jury. A trial where all the evidence can be presented. A trial where lying witnesses can be properly cross-examined and caught in their lies. A trial where the defense will actually call witnesses to testify on the behalf of the accused. A trial that will seek the truth. Isn't that what a trial is supposed to be for, to reveal the truth? Is it so much to ask?

As school children, we used to daily recite the Pledge of Allegiance which ends "with liberty and justice for all." Have we slipped so far that we no longer have "liberty and justice for all", but "liberty and justice for those who can afford a high-powered lawyer?" Is there no justice for the poor or the vulnerable?

Is this what our founding fathers had in mind when they wrote:

    "We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness." 

If Yvonne is not granted another trial, she will go to prison for crimes she did not commit, and that didn't even happen, while those who broke the law and lied through their teeth to put her there remain free. She will have neither life, nor liberty, nor the ability to pursue happiness. Her husband, her three daughters and their families and the extended families all will suffer horribly, knowing that such a loving caregiver and beautiful human being was so unjustly accused, unjustly tried and unjustly incarcerated. Lord, grant that it be not so.

What we believe to be the final hearing deciding the fate of Yvonne's request for another trial will be happening in the near future. We anxiously await the verdict. Will the outcome make another mockery of justice, or will the great traditional values of integrity, honesty, virtue and truth prevail?