Well-paid pathologist made big error

03/28/2013 8:16 PM

03/28/2013 8:18 PM

I was interested to read on Sunday that forensic pathologist Dr. Sung-ook Baik now ranks as the Stanislaus County's second- highest paid employee, earning $266,251 in 2012.

This salary might be well-earned if it were not for the fact that, during his prior employment with Erie County in New York, Baik mistook a cocaine overdose for strangulation as the cause of death of 13-year-old Crystallyn Girard, resulting in the incarceration of the girl's mother, Lynn DeJac, for 13 years before the autopsy findings were eventually re-examined (by Baik's former supervisor and an independent pathologist) and the case was dismissed.

Stanislaus County should start looking for a pathologist whose history will not jeopardize the integrity of the county's numerous murder prosecutions and convictions.

MARTIN BAKER

Modesto

Editor's note: The writer is a local defense attorney.

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