When the doctor’s girlfriend tried to break off their decade-long relationship, he retaliated by injecting her with the virus that causes AIDS, prosecutors said.
Dr. Richard J. Schmidt, 48, was charged Tuesday with the attempted second-degree murder of a 33-year-old nurse, allegedly telling her the deadly injection was a vitamin B-12 shot.
Police said the gastroenterologist drew the blood of an HIV-positive patient under his care and injected it into his ex-girlfriend to get even.
The woman, who was not identified in the indictment, tried several times to break off the relationship before finally ending it in 1994, District Attorney Michael Harson said.
When they were seeing each other, the woman would often receive vitamin injections from Schmidt for fatigue, the final one being Aug. 4, 1994, said police.
On that night Schmidt came to the woman’s home and offered to give her a B-12 shot while she lay in bed. She declined, but he was insistent.
“Before she could do anything more, he jabs her in the left arm. She never even sees the hypodermic. Next thing, he’s leaving almost immediately,” Harson said.
The two never had physical contact again and the affair ended a month later, about the time the woman developed suspicious symptoms. A blood test confirmed she had HIV.
Although the woman could have been infected in her job, DNA tests suggested the virus in the woman’s blood originated from the AIDS patient Schmidt had been treating, Harson said.
Schmidt’s lawyer denied the charge.
“He just believes this woman is out to try and ruin his life with this charge,” lawyer Frank Dawkins said.
Schmidt, who remained jailed Wednesday, could be charged with second-degree murder if the woman dies from AIDS complications, Harson said.
Schmidt’s wife, Barbara, cried as she waited at the jail to see her husband.
“He is a good man. He is not capable of doing this,” she said. “People won’t know all the good he has done, and now this. He is ruined.”
Click here to comment on this story »