Doctor, nurse plead not guilty to adopted son's death

Relates to:
Date: 2012-08-17
Source: Chicoer

Doctor, nurse plead not guilty to adopted son's death

By RYAN OLSON-Staff Writer
Posted: 08/17/2012 12:02:46 AM PDT

OROVILLE — A Chico doctor and nurse pleaded not guilty Thursday to murder and child endangerment charges stemming from the death of their 2-year-old adopted son.
Dr. James Yhip and nurse Edelyn Yhip entered the pleas in Butte County Superior Court, according to supervising deputy district attorney Kelly Maloy.

Judge Kristen Lucena set Oct. 2 for a preliminary hearing, where a judge will determine if there is sufficient evidence to hold the Yhips for trial for the April 19 death of their son, Benjamin. If the Yhips are convicted of the charges, they face maximum sentences of 25 years to life in prison.

Following a three-month investigation, the prosecution alleged Benjamin died due to blunt force trauma to the head during an incident on April 18. The defense has claimed Benjamin had profound medical and behavior problems and a doctor can show the child died of a serious medical condition.

The Yhips are out of custody on bail. Maloy said the judge reminded the defendants of their bail condition — including restrictions on seeking a passport, leaving the state without permission and to follow all court orders.

Last week, Judge Steven Howell denied a motion from state officials seeking to suspend the Yhips' medical licenses. The judge ruled that the matter was serious, but the alleged conduct was isolated to the Yhips' immediate family and didn't apply to public safety.


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