DEAD TEEN'S CASE CLOSED: Involved adults walk, every one
Correspondence concerning the death of Nicholaus Contreraz at Arizona Boys Ranch from Candice Takeuchi, September 9, 2000
Hi Jordan,

Lost contact with you some time ago, but am finally back up and running. In case you don't remember me, I'm Dawnne Takeuchi's mother, VisionQuest death - June 28, 1995. Thought you'd be real interested in knowing the latest developments on Nicholaus Contreraz, and believe me, I was just made aware yesterday. I have been SICK to my stomach on this one!

There were originally 5 people charged criminally for the 'death' - MURDER is my way of saying it. I went to Arizona last year for the preliminary hearings, and watched the 4 counselors have all charges dropped. The State of Arizona did charge Linda Babb (the nurse) with some child abuse and neglect type charges resulting in his death. I was hopeful that SOMEONE would be held responsible and accountable relating to his death. And, if it had to be the nurse, my feeling was, so be it; at least someone would be held accountable in the eyes of the law.

I am attaching a copy of a MOTION TO DISMISS submitted by the Prosecuting District Attorney which I've typed verbatim.

There really is no justice, is there? How and when will JUSTICE win out? And just who will be treated justly? In whose eyes will justice be served? Certainly NOT THE CHILDREN'S! I wish that I could have a more positive outlook but right now. I'm at a total loss for words.

I went through your website and cried and cried!

I do want to thank you personally for putting the names together in a list format. I worked VERY hard getting those names - especially the court adjudicated kids. I can't count the hours I spent searching, calling long distance, etc. to put a name to each death! [See: Killer Camps]

Maybe you would consider putting the below document also on the website where you feel it might fit.

A sincere thanks on behalf of all the kids!

Candice Takeuchi

ps. Please add me to your email address book. If there's anything I might be able to help you with, don't hesitate to ask!

NO. CR 98-96150

LINDA BABB, Defendant

Assigned to Hon. Daniel A. Barker

COMES NOW The State of Arizona, by and through the Pinal County Attorney, ROBERT CARTER OLSON, and his undersigned Deputy County Attorney, and respectfully moves this Court to dismiss the above-entitled action now pending in the Maricopa County Superior Court for the reasons more fully set forth herein:

On August 17, 2000, during a witness interview, Dr. Mary Dudley unexpectedly announced to counsel for both parties that she no longer wished to participate in this case as the State's expert witness on nursing issues. As defense counsel began questioning Dr. Dudley about her earlier deposition in the Scott Norberg civil litigation, she declined to revisit that case or participate further as our expert in this case.

Without a witness to testify to the nursing standard of care, the State is unable to prove that Ms. Babb violated that standard by reckless conduct. Since Ms. Babb is charged with Reckless Child Abuse and Manslaughter (recklessly causing death), the inability to prove that Ms. Babb acted recklessly is fatal to the prosecution of this case.

Immediately the State sought to retain a replacement for Dr. Dudley within the time limits imposed by the Court for the completion of discovery by both parties. As of this writing, the State has not obtained a witness to replace Dr. Dudley.

Independent of the State's loss of Dr. Dudley, a defense interview of Dr. Robert Kearl was scheduled for August 28, 2000.

Dr. Kearl is a pulmonologist and expert witness for the State. Dr. Kearl testified at the Preliminary Hearing in the instant case on April 13, 1999. Prior to that, Dr. Kearl had written an opinion for the State concerning the cause and mechanism of Nicholaus Contreraz' death.

Both Dr. Kearl's written opinion and his testimony at the Preliminary Hearing were based on his belief that Mr. Contreraz' left lung had been collapsed and his right lung infected for some period of time during his life. Dr. Kearl opined that Mr. Contreraz' illness and its severity would have been evident to even medically untrained persons during the last week of his life. As to the nursing notes indicating clear breath sounds, Dr. Kearl concluded that the examinations were inadequate, or possibly that the records were falsified.

On August 28, 1000, counsel for both parties met with Dr. Kearl. He informed counsel that, in preparation for his interview, he had reviewed the case materials. During that review, he reconsidered all the medical evidence, particularly focusing on the Northwest Hospital records, and reached a new conclusion that no other medical expert had previously expressed.

Despite past assumptions, Dr. Kearl came to the conclusion that Mr. Contreraz' left lung was not collapsed prior to death, and that the inflammation in the right lung could have occurred as a result of aspiration during resuscitation. These being so, Mr. Contreraz would not have exhibited the symptoms previously believed; it would, therefore, have been reasonable for Ms. Babb to believe that Mr. Contreraz was not ill (see attached Exhibit A, transcript of Dr. Kearl, August 28, 2000.)

Due to Dr. Dudley's sudden withdrawal as an expert witness, and Dr. Kearl's revised opinions, the State is unable to prove either the nursing standard of care nor Ms. Babb's violation of that standard.

The County Attorney is charged with prosecution people accused of crime, but our first duty is to the administration of justice. Under circumstances now apparent to the State, and discovered by the State's expert, justice demands that this case be dismissed and Ms. Babb be cleared of these charges. The State of Arizona commends Dr. Kearl for his forthrightness, and his willingness to reconsider and revise his opinions.
WHEREFORE, the State moves this Court to dismiss the above-entitled cause in the interests of justice. RESPECTFULLY SUBMITTED this 29th day of August, 2000.


For more about the final hours in the life of 16-year-old Nicholaus Contreraz, see:
Use browser's "back" button to return to this page.
  1. The slow, painful, pointless death of Nicholaus Contreraz, age 16, at the Arizona Boys Ranch, as described in the sheriff's report, Pinal County, Arizona, April 17, 1998.
  2. A Puzzling Death at Boys Ranch, By Julie Cart, The Los Angeles Times, June 13, 1998
  3. Dr. Christopher B. Cutter's letter of June 17, 1998 to the Los Angeles Times regarding the death of Nicholaus Contraraz at Arizona Boys Ranch
  4. 'Pattern of abuse'--Institution won't close, chief vows By Dennis Wagner, The Arizona Republic, Aug. 27, 1998
  5. FIVE ARE INDICTED IN ARIZONA YOUTH CAMP DEATH, By Julie Cart, Los Angeles Times, October 1, 1998
  6. Boys Ranch employees plead innocent, By Dennis Wagner, The Arizona Republic, October 23, 1998
  7. Charges dropped, for now, in death of Boys Ranch teen, By Heather Urquides, The Arizona Daily Star, January 16, 1999
  8. Boys Ranch employees facing murder charge in teen's death, The Associated Press, San Jose Mercury News, March 29, 1999
  9. "A noisy, obvious, gruesome, extended death" -- Arizona Boys Ranch charge, By Inger Sandal, The Arizona Daily Star, May 4, 1999

Please include me in Project NoSpank's mailings.
Please remove me from Project NoSpank's mailings.

Return to Table of Contents.