Letter to the editor: No apology?

To the editor:

Suzanne Valdez owes the Buchhorn and Ortiz families an apology for layering injustice atop the tragedy of the death of baby Oliver Ortiz. The District Attorney’s Office has had possession, since 2016, of a post-mortem report showing Oliver had a congenital heart defect and acute cardiac ischemia (vascular emergency associated with stroke and heart attack). With full knowledge of that report, the coroner nevertheless testified that Oliver’s heart was normal, telling the jury that with a normal heart “(Oliver) must have died of head trauma,” a criminal act. Dr. Mitchell testified that Oliver’s heart showed no signs of “disease process to explain death.” When Ms. Valdez’s new expert, Dr. Jane Turner, told Ms. Valdez something Ms. Valdez didn’t want to hear, that “… Oliver died from natural (causes) with no evidence of child abuse,” Ms. Valdez persisted, claiming the state has other evidence to support prosecution. That’s not true.

The Buchhorn family understands the devastation suffered by the Ortiz family. How much worse was it for Oliver’s family to be led into believing their son was the victim of such an awful act of senseless violence.

My niece, Carrody Buchhorn, her family and the Ortiz family were all victims of a singular injustice. Carrody, who suffered six years of shame, hatred, incarceration and separation from her family, has now been added to the National Register of Exonerations, an independent agency that tracks wrongful prosecutions.

When will Ms. Valdez step forward and apologize to both families? And the community?

Armin Landis,



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