“The decomposed cadaver photos are not relevant under that standard since they do not corroborate Mr. Todt’s account of his alleged strangulation of the four victims,” Schmer wrote. “[Associate Medical Examiner Jennifer Nara] admitted in her deposition that she was not able to detect in the autopsies any signs of strangulation of the victims (due to their state of decomposition). In addition, she was unable to determine the exact mechanism of death due to the victims’ bodies’ decomposition.”
In another motion, Schmer asked the court to prohibit prosecutors from mentioning at trial the translated meaning of the German word “Todt,” calling it “improper.”
“It is clearly improper for the prosecutor to engage in vituperative or pejorative characterizations of a defendant,” Schmer said.
Federal prosecutors asked for a judge to dismiss their fraud complaint against Todt in February so that his criminal trial could “proceed expeditiously and without undue concern or complications,” court records show.
“The Government reserves the right to pursue federal proceedings at some future date,” federal prosecutors said in a Feb. 12 motion.
Todt’s attorney argued evidence of those alleged crimes should be excluded from the murder trial because the “potential for unfair prejudice is great.”
“Any evidence introduced at his homicide trial of Mr. Todt’s alleged health care fraud will be ‘inflammatory’ and ‘difficult for the jury to ignore,’ Schmer wrote. “... The Defense assumes the State will not present any evidence of the dismissed federal health care fraud allegations against Mr. Todt, though files this motion ... in an abundance of caution.”
Todt’s trial is set to begin Sept. 27.©2021 Orlando Sentinel. Visit at orlandosentinel.com. Distributed by Tribune Content Agency, LLC.