Doctor accused of taking patient's Rolex

Oct. 2, 2009
Man accused of letting patient die so he could steal his watch

STOCKTON, Calif. --

A traveling doctor is facing a grand theft charge on allegations that he let a man die so he could steal his Rolex watch.

Cleveland James Enmon was in court Monday for arraignment, but he did not enter a plea.

Cleveland James Enmon

The patient, retired Manteca police lieutenant and well-known private investigator Jerry Kubena Sr., died June 1 at St. Joseph's Medical Center in Stockton.

Enmon was released on a promise to appear at future court hearings. The arraignment is set to continue on Oct. 19.

Kubena's family is claiming wrongful death, negligent hiring, negligent supervision, civil conspiracy and intentional infliction of emotional distress. The family is seeking punitive damages.

Enmon was served Monday with papers related to a civil lawsuit brought by the family.

The attorney general's office had a representative in court seeking a precondition that Enmon should not practice medicine for the time being, but that will not be taken up until the next hearing. In the meantime, Enmon may practice.

Kari Nelson, daughter of Kubena, was upset that Enmon may continue to work as a doctor.

"The minute he did that, what was his interest in keeping him alive?" daughter Kari Nelson said. "It is despicable and inexcusable what happened."

The alleged incident took place in June when Kubena came to the hospital's emergency room suffering from a heart attack. He died under Enmon's care.

A nurse noticed that the patient's watch was missing and called security.

Enmon allegedly tossed the watch into the bushes and the nurse found it, and he was fired immediately.

However, the family wasn't told about the incident until 11 days later. Kubena's family said the hospital first tried to deny the events that took place.

Jerry Kubena Sr.

Kubena's family has filed a civil suit alleging that Enmon formed the intent to take the Presidential Rolex, and the lawsuit contends that Enmon abandoned his efforts to resuscitate Kubena so he would not be around to reclaim the watch.

The lawsuit also accuses the hospital of covering up the incident and failing to call police.

Stockton police investigated the incident, and a grand jury returned an indictment for grand theft against the doctor.

Enmon has not been the subject of any disciplinary action by the Medical Board of California.

Hospital Offers Statement

First, we are deeply sorry for the Kubena family's loss of their father.

Patient safety and quality care are our highest priorities at St. Joseph's Medical Center. We are prevented from discussing the specifics of a patient's care due to federal laws that protect patient privacy. However, we have reviewed the clinical care in this case and believe it was appropriate.

It is generally not our practice to comment on pending litigation. While we do not feel that the complaint paints an accurate picture of what happened, we feel that our patients, our community, and our employees deserve to know that we are committed to the truth and that we will rigorously defend the hospital's reputation.

We were aware that the watch went missing for a short period of time. Notably, the watch in question along with all of the patient's belongings was given to the family members at the hospital while they spent time with their loved one.

We have and continue to fully cooperate with authorities on any external investigation. The physician who cared for Mr. Kubena was employed by an independent medical group and has not been scheduled at St. Joseph's Medical Center since the first week of June.

St. Joseph's has a long legacy as a trusted community partner; serving residents of the Stockton area with quality care for 110 years. We remain committed to providing our patients with excellent care, an excellent experience, and a safe environment.

Copyright 2009 by All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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