Judge orders county to produce medical records

By: Alex Szwarc | Macomb Township Chronicle | Published May 11, 2021

 Macomb County Circuit Court Judge Carl Marlinga last month ordered that the Macomb County Medical Examiner’s Office search, find and produce the records that were referenced in the autopsy report of JoAnn Eisenhardt. In 2011, Joseph Reiner allegedly stabbed Eisenhardt.

Macomb County Circuit Court Judge Carl Marlinga last month ordered that the Macomb County Medical Examiner’s Office search, find and produce the records that were referenced in the autopsy report of JoAnn Eisenhardt. In 2011, Joseph Reiner allegedly stabbed Eisenhardt.

File photo by Deb Jacques

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MACOMB TOWNSHIP — A criminal case dating back over a decade is now being reexamined.

At an April 23 evidentiary hearing and pretrial before Macomb County 16th Circuit Court Judge Carl Marlinga, it was ordered that the Macomb County Medical Examiner’s Office search, find and produce the records that were referenced in the autopsy report of JoAnn Eisenhardt.

In February 2011, Joseph Reiner, then 27 and living in Fraser, allegedly stabbed the 69-year-old Eisenhardt, of Macomb Township. He was then arrested in New York following a three-day crime spree.

Previously, Reiner’s attorney Camilla Barkovic filed a motion to compel disclosure of Eisenhardt’s medical records related to treatment she received following the alleged incident.

Barkovic said those records were repeatedly referenced in Dr. Daniel Spitz’ autopsy report. Spitz is the Macomb County Medical Examiner.

“His conclusion forms, in part, an evidentiary basis for the most significant charge Mr. Reiner is currently facing,” Barkovic said. “The court ordered that Dr. Spitz should produce all of those records.”

Reiner is facing three felony charges, including murder homicide.

Barkovic said Spitz advised Assistant Macomb Prosecutor Victoria Policicchio that he doesn’t have any of the records.

“I would hope that he would’ve had them when he completed the autopsy,” Barkovic said.

Barkovic said she’s not sure why the records are missing.

“I simply cannot obtain Ms. Eisenhardt’s privileged and confidential medical records from the facilities themselves, because any request would be immediately denied under HIPAA and the physician-patient privilege,” Barkovic said.

Policicchio said the file is a decade old, and files end up going into county warehouses.

“He indicated to me he doesn’t have those records,” she said.

Marlinga said the records are necessary to the case and need to be found. He also issued a subpoena commanding various hospitals and medical facilities to produce the records.  

Marlinga said the Medical Examiner’s Office has 21 days to produce the records.  

“We’re going to get these records, come hell or high water,” Marlinga said.

In regard to bond, Marlinga ruled to keep Reiner’s bond at $200,000. He said Reiner presents a danger to society.

Barkovic said Reiner did not commit the crime and the prosecution has no direct evidence establishing he committed the crime.

As reported in C&G Newspapers 10 years ago, Reiner allegedly kicked in the door of Eisenhardt’s home, stealing two rings and a purse before stabbing her twice in the neck. Eisenhardt died in September 2011. Reiner was charged with felony murder a couple of months later.

In September 2012, Reiner’s case went before a jury. The verdict was that Reiner was guilty of first-degree murder, assault with intent to murder and first-degree home invasion. For first-degree murder, he was sentenced to life in prison without parole.

Last year, Reiner’s convictions in this case were reversed. The understanding was that nothing in the order affects the state’s ability to hold Reiner in custody based on the sentences that were imposed and active for any other convictions.

Reiner’s next court date is June 4 for another evidentiary hearing and pretrial. 

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