Sentencing for a Kaysville physician convicted in February of negligent homicide has been delayed while a circuit judge considers whether to set aside the jury's guilty verdict.
Dr. David R. Warden was convicted of the Class A misdemeanor stemming from the death of a premature infant he delivered. He was scheduled for sentencing April 14 in Layton's 4th Circuit Court.But Judge K. Roger Bean, who presided at the weeklong trial, indefinitely delayed sentencing after hearing arguments Thursday from defense attorney Darwin Hansen to vacate the jury's finding.
Hansen argued that the prosecution failed on two points: It didn't prove that Warden's actions were a gross deviation from medical standards, and it didn't present expert testimony proving Warden's negligence was the actual cause of the baby's death.
Davis County Attorney Mel Wilson, who prosecuted Warden, argued that a number of doctors, including some expert witnesses, testified during the trial, and that allowed the jurors to decide whether Warden's actions constituted gross negligence or gross deviation from accepted medical standards, which is required for a conviction of negligent homicide.
Wilson also said jury instructions given to the six jurors had sufficient detail and informed them fully of the stipulations of the law.
Warden was convicted Feb. 26 of negligent homicide in the Nov. 8, 1986, death of Jareth Young, a premature boy delivered by the physician at home late the night before.
The boy, according to testimony in Warden's trial, suffered from respiratory distress syndrome, a common disease of premature infants that impairs their breathing.
A Class A misdemeanor carries a jail term of up to a year and a fine of up to $2,500. The Utah Division of Occupational and Professional Licensing also has a hearing pending to review Warden's medical license.