County Medical Examiner Now Has Doubts

Even the medical examiner has some doubt about whether 11-year-old Ariel Botzet was killed by her mother for failing to treat her diabetes. The forensic pathologist first said that the little girl died because of neglect but then additional information had him questioning his own findings.

Wednesday was a big day for the defense when Cheryl Botzet's attorney had the medical examiner questioning his findings. Dr. Larry Sims, with the Clark County Coroner's office, said, "The death is not unexpected or an unforeseen event, therefore the matter of death is homicide."

Dr. Sims first told the jury that 11-year-old Ariel Botzet had died from chronic neglect of her diabetes. He said that he came to that conclusion not only from conducting an exam on her body, but also based on information that police gave him on how much insulin the girl's mother Cheryl Botzet had purchased.

"There was only a small amount of insulin purchased, and based on what I believed was her normal dosage on the medical records there was a number of bottles short," Dr. Sims stated.

The defense attorney then questioned Dr. Sims about additional information the defense team provided him that showed that additional insulin had been purchased. That had Dr. Sims questioning his own findings.

Dr. Sims said, "If that information is correct and my calculations are correct I don't think that I can maintain that as a conclusion."

The medical examiner also said that puberty, stress, and infection -- or what is known as a brittle diabetic where sugar levels vary widely -- could also contribute to a high ALC level. It's the test that showed a high blood sugar level, which led to Ariel's death.

In the end Dr. Sims maintained that Ariel's manner of death was still a homicide, but may be the result of acute neglect not chronic neglect over several months.

The paramedics who took Ariel to the hospital also testified they said she became unconscious very quickly. They also said that Cheryl Botzet was more interested in the music on the radio than her daughter's health.

Contact Reporter Cindy Cesare


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