Dr. Craig Childress, well-known Clinical Psychologist and expert in Factitious Disorder (formerly known as Munchausen Syndrome; recently repackaged as Medical Child Abuse) was the first witness scheduled to testify before the dependency court in response to the State’s allegations against Trisha DeLaurent. The doctor had written a 24-page report from medical records and case materials based on his professional knowledge, training and experience that had been provided to DDA Charles Mickley and defense attorney, Shawna Meyer. Dr. Childress arrived on a flight from California the morning of January 29, 2018 for what the defense had anticipated would be a full day of testimony.
When Dr. Childress took the witness stand, he was met with an aggressive, and eventually successful, ploy by DDA Charles Mickley to exclude his testimony from trial record. The State made ambiguous claims regarding the nature of the allegations against DeLaurent as being medical rather than psychological, even though CARES NW Child Abuse Pediatrician, Heather McKeag’s initial report cited Factitious Disorder, a DSM 5 (mental disorder) diagnosis.
While DDA Mickley employed the same tactic of attempting to disqualify every expert witness brought by the defense, there was marked intensity with which he worked to exclude the testimony of Dr. Childress—and Dr. Childress was the only witness whose testimony was disallowed by Judge Susan Svetkey.
The 24-page report was not included in the record but has become available to Voices Network for publication. The State fought to bury the testimony of Dr. Craig Childress because he was able to effectively refute each of the State’s claims based on their own documentation and facts found in record. Further, he was able to demonstrate the lack of quality investigation and poor decision making that led to unsubstantiated allegations against an innocent mother. It is likely that the State’s case against Trisha DeLaurent would have been dismissed had Dr. Craig Childress had the opportunity to share his professional insights through expert witness testimony.
Author’s Note: Dr. Childress’ report (with redactions to protect privacy of a minor) is included below to allow the reader to form his/her own opinion, and to ensure that the report becomes a part of “published record”.
[Excerpt removed here (end of p. 7 and most of p. 8) due to privacy issues]