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A call from the White House to the Philadelphia Police Department kicked off a criminal investigation into the April 13 death of Herbert R. McMaster Sr. at Cathedral Village, according to testimony Tuesday at the preliminary hearing for Christann S. Gainey, a licensed practical nurse who was charged in McMaster’s death.
Albert Chu, deputy chief medical examiner, testified that Lt. Philip Riehl called him April 16 and told him the White House had called the homicide department regarding the death of McMaster, the 84-year-old father of former national security adviser H.R. McMaster Jr.
White - House - Lt - Riehl - Chu
“I don’t know when the White House contacted Lt. Riehl,” Chu said during cross-examination by Gainey’s lawyer, Sharon Piper. He said there was no attempt to influence his autopsy report, which concluded that McMaster died from the “blunt-force trauma” of hitting his head when he fell late on April 12. The internal bleeding was significant “enough to distort the surface of the brain,” Chu said.
A homicide detective was assigned to the case on April 19.
Christopher - Jason - Deputy - Pennsylvania - Office
Christopher Jason, a deputy in the Pennsylvania Office of Attorney General who is prosecuting the case against Gainey along with Nathan Guinta, said in court that he had not previously known about the call from the White House. It was documented in a supplement to Chu’s autopsy report. H.R. McMaster Jr. was fired in March and replaced in April.
The state Attorney General’s Office on May 10 charged Gainey, 30, who was employed by a Plymouth Meeting temp agency, with neglect of a care-dependent person, involuntary manslaughter, and falsification of records, alleging that Gainey did not perform any of the required neurological checks on McMaster after his fall.
Tuesday - Hearing - Municipal - Court - Judge
Tuesday’s preliminary hearing before Municipal Court Judge Karen Y. Simmons provided some additional details on conditions at Cathedral Village during the last night...
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