Atlanta (WAOK)-Attorneys representing former Atlanta Public School Superintendent Dr. Beverly Hall have asked Judge Jerry Baxter to postpone the beginning of her trial on cheating and racketeering charges while she receives treatment for cancer. Dr. Hall has been diagnosed with Stage IV breast cancer. Her trial is scheduled to get underway at the end of this month.
According to a motion filed by Hall’s attorneys, “In the opinion of her physician, (Hall) will be physically and mentally unable to attend trial or meaningfully assist with her defense for a period of six to eight months.”
Dr. Hall was diagnosed with breast cancer in 2004 and again in 2011. The second diagnosis found that the disease had spread to other parts of her body. Stage IV cancer is not curable but is treatable. Hall has been receiving continuous treatment since the second diagnosis.
Dr. Laura Weakland, Dr. Hall’s oncologist said in a court deposition that with Dr. Hall’s severely compromised immune system resulting from extensive chemotherapy, she would be putting her life at risk through exposure to infection or other illness associated with daily visits to a large public courthouse if she attempted to attend trial while undergoing her current and anticipated medical regimen. Moreover, the document continues, to urge Dr. Hall to use caution in limiting her time and physical exertion. Dr. Hall’s physician has opined that Dr. Hall’s illness combined with the side effects of her multiple medications will render her physically and mentally unable to assist in trial preparation or at trial, and that attempting to do so would significantly and adversely impact Dr. Hall’s ability to fight her disease, reducing her chances of recovery.
In Dr. Weakland’s opinion, “under no circumstances will [Dr. Hall] be able to stand trial’ during the next six to eight months, in which she will be undergoing enhanced treatment of her cancer.
The judge has not made a ruling on the request.