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  • Poor judgment and the lack of preventative measures by doctors led to the wrongful death of Dennise Hayslip. This was medical malpractice.

  • Deaths were not premeditated but instead were crimes of passion, and should therefore not qualify for the death penalty.

  • Dr. Paul Schrode performed an incomplete autopsy of Dennise Hayslip and wrongfully placed the cause of death as a gunshot wound, when in actuality she suffocated.

  • Dr. Paul Schrode has several incidences where his professional qualifications are in question:

  • In an Ohio death sentence case, Schrode provided incorrect testimony which lead to a sentencing alteration.

  • Dr. Schrode lied about his work history when applying for a job with the Harris County Medical Examiner’s Office

  • Dr. Schrode was unable to pass the Anatomic Pathology Board required by the Harris County Medical Examiner’s Office

  • Dr. Schrode claimed to have passed the board when applying to the El Paso Texas Medical Examiner’s Office. (Verification?)

  • Other pathologists have been called to report on Dr. Schrode’s autopsies for unclear purposes.

  • False or misleading evidence provided by Dr. Schrode has been used for Death Row sentencing.







Charles Thompson does not deserve the death penalty. In his trial, it was his defense, that the hospital and 4 doctors suffocated his girlfriend Dennise Hayslip. In fact, it was his only defense at trial of double murder.


In a murder case, Charles Thompson would have had a defense of crime of passion, heat of passion. In capital cases, this is not allowed - until sentencing, only in mitigating for life, not death.


The medical malpractice of doctors/hospital did not come to light in a court until after Charles Thompson was sentenced to death, only having filed notice of intent to sue for wrongful death just days before Charles Thompson’s death penalty trial began.There was no lawsuit for wrongful death to even present in support of his only defense. They suffocated her pre-surgery while leaving her unattended as all hospital personnel scrubbed for this routine operation resulting in her being declared legally brain dead.


Further issues have come to light in recent years about Dr. Paul Schrode who performed the incomplete and inaccurate autopsy of Dennise Hayslip, the lady aforementioned in this case. Schrode’s autopsy improperly determined the cause of death as ‘gunshot wound.’


Serious doubt has been cast upon all of Dr. Schrode’s work in recent years. In a preliminary investigation into Dr. Schrode, the following has been uncovered:


(1) A Ohio death sentence has been commuted to life based on Schrode’s incorrect testimony near the time of Thompson’s case.

(2) Dr. Schrode lied about his work history when applying for a job at Harris Co. Medical Examiner’s office.

(3) Dr. Schrode was unable to pass the anatomic pathology board required by the Harris Co. Medical Examiners office.

(4) Although he never passed the board, Dr. Schrode claimed to have passed the board when applying at another medical examinor’s office in El Paso TX.


Interestingly, the State of TX did not call Dr. Schrode to testify regarding his autopsy. Instead, another pathologist was called to explain his report to the jury. It is not clear why the State would not call Dr. Schrode himself. If Schrode’s false materially inaccurate autopsy report would have come to light, multiple claims would have been filed in prior appeals. It is a violation of the 8th amendment to the US Constitution to base a death sentence on inaccurate evidence. Secondly, the Constitutional due process prohibits the state from securing a conviction through the use of false or highly misleading evidence. The State allowed this to occur.


Suppressing evidence favorable to the accused, in good/bad faith or not,  is a violation of the law. Harris Co. Medical Examiners office falls under the prosecution as part of the legal system prosecution.




Dr. schrode completed a fellowship or training period as a physician following his residency after medical school, at the Hamilton Co. Coroner's office in Cincinnati, Ohio. This fellowship was from Dec. 2 1996 to June 27,1997. During this time, Schrode performed the autopsy of Patricia Newsome related to the investigation into capital murder charges against Richard Nields. Immediately following his fellowship, on July I, 1997, Schrode began working as an assistant medical examiner for the Harris Co. medical Examiners office. Later that year, while employed at Harris Co. M.E.'s office, Schrode testified as an expert witness for the Ohio prosecution at Nields trial. Relying on his own conclusions of his own autopsy, which were not included in his report, the jury sentenced Nields to death. Nields’ sentence was later commuted to life when Schrode's fellowship supervisor and chief duty Coroner, Robert Pfalzgraf reviewed Schrode's trial testimony for the first time. The Ohio parole board published its recommendation of clemency for Nields based primarily on the videotaped testimony of Dr. Pflazgraf, in which he outlined 5 specific areas where Schrode's conclusions were incorrectand not scientifically supported.



Pflazgraf testified that Schrode had no scientific basis for his conclusion that Nields beat Patricia Newsome, left for 15 minutes to 6 hours, and then returned to strangle her. He testified there was no evidence to support the age of the bruises, which contradicted Schrode's testimony that the bruising had occurred between 15 minutes and all the way up to 6 hours before death. He also said Schrode was incorrect when he concluded that the lack of DNA evidence under her fingernails meant she was already unconscious when she was strangled; one cannot scientifically conclude anything from that. He added that he had never even seen a case where there was DNA evidence under fingernails in all his years as a pathologist.


Schrode also testified during Nields’ trial about rigor mortis and petechia as support of a gap between beating and strangulation. Dr.Pfalzgrafsaid that there was no medical evidence to support that there were two seperate acts at all. Nor was there any evidence that Newsome was unconscious at the time of death. Pfalzgraf noted in his affidavit that one assertion by Schrode at the trial had no relevance to when the victim sustained the trauma to her head. Pfalzgraf also added that he was not hired by the prosecution or the defence for the review,  and he asserted twice that he would not have signed an autopsy containing Schrode's testimonial conclusions because they were incorrect.


The short time gap between this unscientific testimony and the autopsy relevant to Charles Thompson's case, which Schrode performed, providing the ultimate conclusion of cause of death, should not go unnoticed. Schrode completed the autopsy report on Gienda Dennise Hayslip on May 7, 1998, just 5 months after Nields was sentenced to death.


Dr. Schrode began his career at Harris Co. with lies about his work history and credentials. His application for employment states that he graduated from Southwest TX State University in San Marcos in May 1979, citing a degree received as a paralegal. Schrode did attend TSU, as the school is now called, for one semester, but did not graduate with any degree. Schrode also reported that he worked as a paralegal from May 1979 to August 1983. Schrode has never been a member of the state bar of Texas as a paralegal or lawyer. On October 5, 2001 Schrode was disciplined for 'defective & improper work' resulting in a wrong determination of cause of death. Additional remarks on the counselling worksheet include "the determination of cause of death was incorrect and the case was not completed on time despite all pertinent information available since (2 months before disciplinary notice). The appropriate cause of death, manner of death and "how injury occurred' determinations were discussed on numerous occasions.


A performance evaluation dated July 19, 1999 reported that Schrode was overwhelmed at times by caseload. The tone of further performance evaluations would become increasingly worrisome. On November 20, 2000 the evaluator, Dr. Joyce M. Carter MD, did not rate him (that is, check the boxes poor to excellent) on the categories of thoroughness (attention to requisite detail, to completeness, avoidance ofsuperficiality), and added as a note, consultation on difficult or questionable case with chief. His major weakness is listed as "lack of board certification"and poor communicator when dissatisfied with work. This major weakness is the same on an evaluation dated October 16, 2002. The last evaluation dated December 16,2003, rates him as 'fair' in multiple categories and notes several times that he must reduce his backlog of 178 incomplete autopsy reports, in addition to 103 pending cases. An additional memo, dated December 15,2003 reprimands him for the pending and incomplete autopsies and relieves him of additional duties until they are complete. The last performance evaluation also notes as a major weakness his lack of board certification, but that accomplishment was that he took his forensic and anatomic pathology boards exams. Results pending. However, Schrode knew two months before, by October of 2003, that he had failed the anatomic pathology portion of the combined pathology exam, and thus was not certified. Schrode resigned from his position at Harris Co. on May 14,2004.  


Schrode then worked as a assistant professor of pathology for Texas Tech University Medical school in Lubbock, TX. Lubbock County contracted with Texas Tech for medical examiners services, and Schrode performed autopsies while employed at TX Tech. However, in Schrode's application for employment in El Paso TX, he listed in his work history the Title of Deputy Medical examiner for Lubbock county medical examiners office. Schrode was hired as Chief Medical Examiner of El Paso TX in December 2005. He applied with a resume that stated he passed his forensic pathology boards, when in fact he'd passed only one portion of the combined exam.


Later resumes would change the wording of his credentials. The first resume also stated that he possessed a graduate law degree from Southwest Texas State University, which has no law school. On August 13, 2007 he was cross examined by Attorney Theresa Caballero during a child protection case about his resume. In response to her questions, he admitted that he did not have a law degree, but falsely claimed to have a degree in law from the graduate school of political science. He also said he attended one year of school. Again Schrode attended only one semester at the school known as Texas State University, and he did not receive any degree. During cross examination, he also falsely stated "I was a member of the State Bar of Texas". After that testimony, he produced another resume that falsely stated his qualifications including a degree in law from a graduate school of political science (NOT A Law degree), and that he was a member of the state bar from 79 to 83 as a paralegal. Schrode was neither an attorney nor a paralegal at any time. A 2004 application sent by Schrode to the Lubbock County Medical Examiners office includes the same false claims about possessing a law degree and working as a paralegal.


The amended resume(and another updated resume that omits the false qualifications) also added that he was "surgical pathology board eligible. It is Thompson's opinion that there is no board certification offered in surgical pathology by any recognized medical board. Schrode became ineligible to sit for the boards on December 31,2008. Both later resumes additionally state that his board certifications in anatomic pathology and forensic pathology are pending. The first amended resume, included in the El Paso personnel file, features a hand written note "do not know when this version was received or how or from whom".


El Paso county fired Schrode in May 2010 after Nields' sentence of death was commutated. Before the Nields case, the county commissioners had questioned him about the various lies in his resume. When he was fired, he was the highest paid county employee, making $254,000 annually. After Nields’ commutation and since Schrode was fired, cases against at least two people have been thrown out based on the unreliability of Schrode's work as a medical examiner.


Monea Tyson was arrested in January 2009 following the deathof her young son. Police detectives got the warrant for Tyson's arrest based onSchrode's testimony, which ruled the death was a homicide by blunt force trauma to the head. During Tyson's trial, which occurred after Schrode was fired, a defence witness and independent forensic pathologist testified that it was her opinion that the death was caused by sepsis. This expert witness noted that Schrode's autopsy had called some marks bruises that were actually just benign skin discolorations, and had also failed to take into account that the child was treated for a cold a few days before the death. Tyson was acquitted of capital murder on November 18 2010.


The trial of Curtis Jones, of Carlsbad, New Mexico, ended in a mistrial because there were questions about the credibility of Schrode, who performed the autopsy on the 20 month old girl Jones was accused of killing. District Court Judge Jane Shuler Gray declared a mistrial on her own initiative, citing a lack of creditable testimony and noting " it is all an issue of due process" according to the newspaper report.


The facts speak for themselves. This death penalty case was wrongfully conficted.


These appendixes will be made available in the future for all who wish to read & review.


Charles Thompson still has a mountain of medical records from criminal and civil wrongful death cases to review.


Funds are needed to pay for a forensic pathologist to save his life.













Wrongful Convictions require Justice
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