A judge refused to reduce bail Friday for a Valencia doctor and an unlicensed midwife accused of murder in the deaths of newborn babies, saying she feared that if the defendants were freed they would resume practicing medicine and endanger infants.
Dr. Milos Klvana, 47, is awaiting trial on six counts of second-degree murder and one count of involuntary manslaughter in seven infant deaths. Delores Doyle, 36, of Montclair, who authorities said worked with Klvana on some deliveries, is charged with two counts of second-degree murder and one count of involuntary manslaughter.
Before Los Angeles Superior Court Judge Judith C. Chirlin issued her ruling, Klvana gave her his medical license as assurance that he would not resume his practice. Klvana already had been barred from practicing medicine by a court order obtained last month by the state Board of Medical Quality Assurance.
Chirlin, however, said she had "a sense" that Klvana and Doyle believe strongly that the case against them is based on prejudice against out-of-hospital deliveries. She said she feared that if they were freed they would feel "irresistible pressure" to become involved in home births again, posing "a significant risk to . . . unborn children."
She said the issue of women delivering children at home has aroused strong passions among adherents, "almost rising to the level of religion."
Prosecutors charge that Klvana and Doyle knew they did not have the medical skill to handle high-risk deliveries in private homes or Klvana's clinics. The prosecution alleges that Klvana misused drugs and that he and Doyle failed to recommend hospital treatment for pregnant women who developed medical complications.
Klvana was in custody from the time of his arrest in October, 1986, to November, 1987, when he went free after another judge lowered his bail from $750,000 to $200,000. But in February, prosecutors produced evidence that he had resumed seeing patients. Chirlin ordered him back to jail and restored the $750,000 bail, which Klvana has been unable to pay.
Klvana, acting as his own attorney with the help of two court-appointed advisory lawyers, had asked Chirlin to again reduce bail to $200,000. He argued that he could not adequately prepare his defense while in jail.
Doyle's lawyer, Maxwell S. Keith, pleaded unsuccessfully with Chirlin to reduce Doyle's bail from $200,000 to $25,000, maintaining that Doyle's mental state has been deteriorating. Doyle has been in custody since her arrest in October, 1986.
Keith said the complex case is likely to last at least another year, and if she must spend all that time behind bars "she will go stir crazy and lose her mind."