Attorneys rest their cases in trial of teen accused of impersonating physician assistant



OSCEOLA COUNTY, Fla. - Closing arguments are expected to begin Thursday in the trial for an Osceola County teenager accused of impersonating a physician assistant.  WFTV was there as lawyers defending Matthew Scheidt asked a judge to acquit him while the jury was out of the room.

Both prosecutors and the defense rested their cases on Wednesday. Now it's up to the defense to convince a jury that Scheidt was merely following the direction of others who thought he was a student.

More witnesses took the stand Wednesday in Scheidt's trial, including some who worked with him at the Osceola Regional Medical Center in September.

Not only is Scheidt accused of impersonating a physician assistant, but coworkers said he even told them he was a sheriff's deputy working undercover as he tried to gain access to the emergency room.

In court on Wednesday, Scheidt almost seemed to shed tears when a sheriff's deputy talked about Scheidt being part of the Explorers program at the Sheriff's Office.

People who worked in administration for the surgical company Schiedt worked for testified that Scheidt said he worked for the Sheriff's Office. One of the employees said they even called to check on his status with the Sheriff's Office and found out Scheidt was lying.

Dawn Franze said she asked Scheidt if he was a deputy and that he told that he was.

"He told me the Sheriff's Office would not confirm he was deputy because he was on a top-secret case," Franze said.

After prosecutors called several witness, they played hours of a police interrogation video where Scheidt admitted he worked on patients.

Prosecutors painted the picture of Scheidt as purposely deceitful, a teen who obtained a new badge so he could work in the ER, posing as a real employee.

Scheidt's defense attorney contends even if Scheidt told some lies, the 17-year-old said he was just a student and never actually claimed to be a physician assistant.

Just after prosecutors rested, the defense tried to get judge to grant an acquittal on all six charges.

The judge did drop one count because there wasn't enough evidence showing Scheidt pulled an IV out of a patient.

The defense will now present its case. Scheidt says he will not testify.

On Tuesday, defense attorney Jamie Kane admitted Schiedt lied on his application about his age, but he maintained Scheidt never told anyone he was a physician assistant.

Instead, if asked, Scheidt said he was a student, and no one who worked with him in the ER actually thought he was a physician assistant.

"Anything he did under that setting was allowed to happen by people who thought he was a student, not a licensed practitioner," said Kane.

Investigators said Scheidt obtained an ID that indicated he was a physician assistant.

The trial is expected to wrap up at the end of the week.