Martha J. Scholl, Medical Investigator?
Martha J. Scholl was the Pinellas-Pasco County, Florida, Medical Investigator when my youngest son, Kyle Brennan, died under very suspicious circumstances at his father’s apartment in downtown Clearwater, Florida, the night of February 16-17, 2007.
There were—and still are—a large number of discrepancies in the testimonies and depositions made by those present that evening. And there are also plenty of inconsistencies in the information given to me by Ms. Scholl’s office and the Clearwater Police Department.
(Scholl and Clearwater Detective Stephen Bohling, for example, fabricated contact with Dr. Stephen McNamara, Kyle’s psychiatrist. According to Bohling, Dr. McNamara “confirmed that Kyle had been exhibiting early signs of Schizophrenia to include paranoia and delusions,” said he had prescribed Lexapro, and “advised that he was not aware of any major side effects if one was to suddenly stop taking” it [emphasis added]. Scholl, too, claimed she had spoken with Kyle’s psychiatrist. Dr. McNamara, however, stated under oath that he was “perplexed and dumbfounded” by these statements because he had had absolutely no contact whatsoever with either Bohling or Scholl. Not only had they lied about speaking with McNamara and concocted Kyle’s diagnosis, but McNamara stated that there were potential side effects.)
I called Ms. Martha Scholl on December 19, 2007, with a list of questions regarding Kyle’s death and the subsequent investigation. I told her I was calling because I wanted clarification. I asked her for the names of the police officers who responded to Tom Brennan’s 911 call, Ms. Scholl said they were Brett Faulk and Jonathan Yuen. This was when I learned, too, that she was the medical investigator sent to the Brennan apartment the evening Kyle died. When I asked, however, why the forensic procedures outlined in section 406.11 of the Florida Statutes were not followed, Ms. Scholl did not respond. (Section 406.11 refers specifically to “Examinations, investigations, and autopsies.” According to Section 406.11, the medical examiners are supposed to determine the cause of death, not the police. In Kyle’s investigation, Detective Bohling claimed that Scholl had ruled his death a suicide, and Scholl claimed that she had been told by the police that it was a suicide. See below for more information.1)
While her non-response in that instance was troubling and very telling, Ms. Scholl’s reaction to the following question was perhaps even more so. She didn’t answer directly when I asked who provided her with Kyle’s personal and medical information. Instead, she said she didn’t want to get any police officers in trouble.
Next, I told her about a discrepancy in Kyle’s death certificate that I wanted corrected. It listed Tom Brennan’s apartment—where Kyle was visiting—as his home address, not the address in Virginia. She said that Tom Brennan was Kyle’s next of kin. Then I asked her why the police hadn’t called me the night Kyle died. Why was it that a complete stranger, Gerald Gentile, had made that call instead? Ms. Scholl explained that, indeed, it is the job of the police to notify the family. Ms. Scholl continued, “if the medical examiner’s office were responsible for making calls like that in the middle of the night, we would probably hear nothing but a big thump on the other end of the line.”
Ms. Scholl then asked if there was a problem with the investigation. Was there a suspicion of criminal wrongdoing? I asked if she knew that Tom Brennan and Gerald Gentile are Scientologists, referring to Scientology’s well-known war against psychiatry and psychiatric medication. She said “yes,” and then told me the prescription date on Kyle’s Lexapro bottle and how many pills were left inside. She said Kyle had not taken his medication properly and that you can’t do that with Lexapro. Kyle really had no choice in the matter; I replied, since it was taken away from him and locked in his father’s vehicle.
1. More information regarding Florida Statute 406: “The mission of the medical examiner’s office is to fulfill the needs outlined in F.S.406, to be of service to families of the deceased, and local government agencies. In short, our mission is to determine the cause and manner of death under certain circumstances. This mission requires utmost objectivity. . . .”
406.11- Examinations, investigations, and autopsies.
(1) In any of the following circumstances involving the death of a human being, the medical examiner of the district in which the death occurred or the body was found shall determine the cause of death and shall, for that purpose, make or have performed such examinations, investigations, and autopsies as he or she shall deem necessary or as shall be requested by the state attorney:
(2)(a) The district medical examiner shall have the authority, in any case, coming under subsection (1), to perform or have performed whatever autopsies or laboratory examinations he or she deems necessary and in the public interest to determine the identification of or cause or manner of death of the deceased or to obtain evidence necessary for forensic examination.
Copyright © 2023 by Victoria L. Britton
Excerpts from the Deposition of Victoria Britton
Excerpt from the Deposition of Detective Stephen Bohling
Excerpt from the Deposition of Stephen McNamara MD
Excerpt from the Deposition of Tom Brennan
Emails from Attorney Ken Dandar, Subject: Marti Scholl Deposition
Excerpt from the Deposition of Victoria Britton
Excerpt from the deposition of Detective Stephen Bohling
Excerpt from Officer Jonathan Yuen Deposition
Detective Steve Bohling
Content of conversation between Medical Investigator Marti Scholl and Victoria Britton.
Relationship between Detective Steve Bohling and Hillsborough County Medical Investigator Martha J. Scholl.
Detective Steve Bohling Narrative; Clearwater Police Report
Excerpt from the Deposition of Detective Bohling
Dr.Stephen McNamara Deposition
Note: Deposition excerpts of Dr. Stephen McNamara are property of the Estate of Kyle Brennan. Duplication is strictly prohibited without the approval of the estate administrator.