Legal Briefs

Unexpected Discovery and Disclosure in the Stidham Murder


Det. Jill Murphy and Deputy Dawn Barkman interview Lourdes Lopez on Oct. 8, three days after the murder of Dr. David Brian Stidham and a week before the arrest of his former employer and Lopez's former fiancé, Dr. Bradley Schwartz.

Murphy: And so that leads me to believe that he (Schwartz) is a bit unstable right now.

Lopez: OK.

Murphy: Uh, I'm worried about your children. I don't have any easy answers for you on what we can do for you in the meantime. And I don't know, this can drag out for months. You know ...

Lopez: Oh, I know how things go.

Murphy: And so obviously until I get probable cause to arrest him, he's gonna be out.

Lopez: Right.

Murphy: Um.

Lopez: I hate to say it, Jill, but he's probably gonna be really busy with the hospitals right now because since Dr. Stidham is gone, all of the pediatric calls are gonna go to him.

(Lopez later recalls a talk with one of Schwartz's girlfriends.)

Lopez: And she's like, "Is he crazy?" I said, "Yeah, he is."

Murphy: Do you think that his bipolarism has anything to do with him wanting Stidham dead?

Lopez: Yes

(Later, Lopez, assesses the medical skills of Schwartz and Stidham.)

Lopez: When you would see him and Brad together, it was like, I don't know what, uh, maybe like, um, the odd couple. Because Brad was so quick and reactive, and when there was a diagnosis that was real tricky, Dr. Stidham was really cautious. He wouldn't, he would be almost afraid to say, "This is what your child has, a tumor," and Brad, on the other hand, was like, "Look, I've been trained. You have a tumor. You need to have surgery." And he was always right.

(Later) Barkman: Does he have any, do you know of any pending lawsuits that Brad has or ...?

Lopez: Oh, yeah. He's got, and that's a matter of public record.

Barkman: Right.

Lopez: I mean, he's got medical malpractice lawsuits from, stemming from the fact that he admitted to the (Medical) Board that he had been using Vicodin, and I believe the people that are suing him believe that he did surgery on them during those times.

Murphy: Right.

Lopez: So he's got, I think, two pending suits right now. And then he was going through a divorce, too, with Joan, and Joan, it was really ugly. You know, I pretty much helped him at the end with, he didn't have an attorney. I didn't represent him formally, but I, obviously, I read all the pleadings, and I told him what he needed to do. And Joan and I have grown to have a lotta respect for each other.

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