Dr. Bradley Alan Schwartz’s parents fired Dr. Brian Stidham because he was recruiting patients and staff while their son was in rehab, they testified yesterday.
The defense opened its case after Pima County Superior Court Judge Nanette Warner denied a defense motion to ask the jury whether the prosecution had proved its case.
Lois and Henry Schwartz flew in from their Florida home in November 2002 to mind their son’s practice while he was recovering from a prescription drug habit.
Stidham had placed business cards with a new address and phone number in the office and asked patients to switch to his practice and staff to work for him, they said.
Bradley Schwartz gave permission by phone to fire Stidham, they said.
“I had to fire Dr. Stidham because what he was doing was unethical, I felt, and that’s what I did,” said Lois Schwartz, a retired corporate administrator.
“We had confronted Dr. Stidham and said, ‘Look, you handed out cards there and other things,’ ” said Henry Schwartz, a retired teacher. “This is intolerable.”
Both Schwartzes said they heard no harsh words between their son and Stidham that day and that Stidham asked how patients in the lobby would be cared for before he was escorted out.
● Zhanna Chernobelskaya said Stidham’s Lexus was parked in her space at the Bellevue Garden Apartments, 3737 E. Bellevue St., hours before he was slain. Chernobelskaya said she reported the car the afternoon of Oct. 5, 2004, to her manager. It remained there until Oct. 7, when police questioned her, she said.
● Lucia Sanchez, Schwartz’s former receptionist, said she saw Bigger at the office on the afternoon of Oct. 5, 2004. Sanchez said Bigger left in a cab.
● Steven Weinstein, a family law attorney, testified that Bradley and Joan Schwartz’s divorce was unusual in that Joan Schwartz got generous alimony of up to $9,120 and no less than $4,000 a month. In January 2004, Bradley Schwartz was making $20,000 a month.
● Erin Sullivan, a University of Arizona senior, testified that she was working at Denny’s restaurant, 3655 E. Speedway, when Bigger calmly waited for a cab. Sullivan couldn’t remember the exact date of the encounter, just that it took place in October or November 2004.