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US doctor convicted of murder is freed from prison after pardon secured by doctor who took over his practice

BMJ 2024; 385 doi: https://doi.org/10.1136/bmj.q1174 (Published 28 May 2024) Cite this as: BMJ 2024;385:q1174
  1. Owen Dyer
  1. Montreal

A Virginia prison has released Vince Gilmer, a family practitioner convicted 19 years ago of murdering his father, after the doctor who took over his practice—also called Gilmer but no relation—correctly diagnosed Huntington’s disease from a distance and secured a conditional pardon from the state’s governor.

Vince Gilmer, now aged 61, strangled his father, Dalton Gilmer, soon after checking him out of a psychiatric hospital in southern Virginia in 2004. The father’s body was discovered with fingers missing. At his trial the doctor insisted on representing himself and claimed insanity. He told the court that his father had sexually abused him for years and had made another advance at him that day. He had snapped, he testified, at a time when he was also hearing voices. He received a life sentence.

His practice was later taken over by the unrelated Benjamin …

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