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Doctor Jailed After Bail Is Revoked in Infant Deaths

February 17, 1988|GABE FUENTES | Times Staff Writer

A Valencia physician awaiting trial in the deaths of seven infants in his care was jailed after his bail was revoked Tuesday.

Deputy Dist Atty. Brian R. Kelberg persuaded Los Angeles Superior Court Judge Judith C. Chirlin to revoke Dr. Milos Klvana's $200,000 bail pending a March 3 hearing. Kelberg argued during a pretrial hearing that Klvana, 47, poses a danger to the community because he continues to practice medicine.

Kelberg also claimed that Klvana, free on bail since November, was planning to flee the state before his trial.

A gynecologist who practices in Klvana's former office testified Tuesday that she heard Klvana speak of "the trip" he planned to take before the start of the trial.

Dr. Sandra Soho also testified that she heard Klvana's wife, Svata, mention the couple's native Czechoslovakia as a place to which they might flee. Soho said Svata Klvana expressed fear that her husband could die in prison if convicted.

Klvana was ordered to stand trial in October on six counts of second-degree murder and one count of involuntary manslaughter in the deaths of the seven infants. His assistant, midwife Delores Doyle, 35, was ordered to stand trial on two counts of second-degree murder and one count of involuntary manslaughter.

Doyle, of Montclair, remained in custody in lieu of $200,000 bail.

Investigator Poses as Patient

Evidence that Klvana was continuing to practice medicine included information from the doctor's answering service and from an investigator from the state Board of Medical Quality Assurance, Kelberg said.

Posing as a patient, an investigator from the medical board visited Klvana on Jan. 21, the prosecutor said. Without learning her medical history and without giving her a physical examination, Klvana gave her a drug to initiate menstrual bleeding, Kelberg said.

He said the answering service told authorities that it had been receiving four to six messages a day from women who wanted appointments with Klvana.

"If he is practicing, he is a danger," Kelberg said.

Superior Court Judge James F. Nelson testified that, when he reduced Klvana's bail from $750,000 to $200,000 last October, he assumed that Klvana would not practice medicine should he be released.

The medical board investigator and a representative of the answering service were in court Tuesday but did not testify.

Rita-Jane Baird, one of Klvana's attorneys, sought to keep Klvana free on bail. Baird argued that Soho's testimony about Klvana's alleged plans to flee were not credible because of a continuing business dispute between the two physicians.

Deputies from the Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department were called to Klvana's former Valencia clinic Jan. 14. Soho and Klvana had made citizen's arrests on each other after arguing about how much money Soho owed Klvana in exchange for the medical practice.

Baird said Klvana fled Czechoslovakia in 1969 after the Soviet occupation there and would be a prisoner if he returned.

The medical board sought to revoke Klvana's medical license after his arrest in October, 1986, but the agency never proceeded with a formal hearing, Baird said.

"He is a fully licensed physician," she said.

Judge Chirlin removed H. Elizabeth Harris as Klvana's chief court-appointed lawyer. Citing health considerations, Harris had asked to be relieved of the case. Klvana earlier had sought to remove her as his lead counsel and filed a legal malpractice suit against her in January.

Chirlin appointed attorney Richard A. Leonard to replace Harris.

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