OSCEOLA COUNTY, Fla. — Prosecutors called witness after witness on Tuesday to build their case against the teenager accused of impersonating a physician assistant at Osceola Regional Medical Center.
Matthew Scheidt was arrested last September after police said he posed as a physician assistant.
Defense attorney Jamie Kane admitted that 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.
Most of the testimony from the initial witnesses was informational about how he got hired.
One witness said Scheidt didn't produce a driver's license when he applied, and later brought a photo copy of it, with his date of birth obscured.
During testimony hospital human resource workers described how Scheidt referred to himself as a PA, which they took to mean physician assistant, but didn't bother to check his credentials before issuing a badge.
One doctor also testified Scheidt claimed to be a PA, and then later changed his story to student.
An emergency room PA said Scheidt had a real badge and worked on patients, but never actually claimed to be a physician assistant.
A jury was seated late Monday in the case. Choosing a jury proved difficult because many of the potential jurors knew a lot about the case.
Most jurors questioned said they not only knew about Scheidt's accused impersonation, they had an opinion about it.
"I personally thought he was guilty," said a potential juror, who did not want to be identified. "Let's just say I'm a current cancer patient, so I'm not very happy about a person impersonating medical officials."
But at the same time, many potential jurors said their current opinions would not influence their decision in the trial that will decide the teenager's fate.
Many jurors said they primarily heard about the case from television news.
At the time of Scheidt's arrest, he was 17 years old and was working as a clerk for a surgical company at the hospital.
According to investigators, he even admitted to performing CPR on a patient who later died.
Defense seems to be trying to say if Scheidt was posing as a student, not a PA, then he didn't commit the crime of impersonating a physician assistant.
Prosecutors still have more witnesses to call when trial resumes Wednesday morning.
The trial is expected to wrap up at the end of the week.