Yuma, AZ - Testimony continued today with Stephanie Baer, the step daughter of Dr. Sudeer Gogte, the owner of the Desert Heart Vascular Center where Dr. Gill worked. She says the doctors were good friends that met in India where they attended school together.
Dr. Gogte is no longer living, he passed away in 2009.
Baer testified she had worked some years at the Vascular Heart Center and also personally knew both Dr. Gill and the defendant, Preston Strong. Baer says she received a strange call from Dr.Gill, on November 1st 2007, the day he died.
"He was like can you do me a favor? I said I'm kinda busy, I have groceries and I have to take my daughter to dance. He said I just need you to run an errand for me, he was like come to my house and pick up a check that will be underneath my doormat," says Baer.
Baer says she would occasionally run errands for Dr.Gill and had a key to his home because she would sometimes feed his birds when he couldn't. She says on November 1st she did go to his home and picked up the check.
Baer testified that she went to a Bank of America where she cashed the $24,000 dollar check, and she said the money was given to her in 50's.
Baer says when she returned to his home Dr.Gill only cracked open the door. She testified he looked normal. She says she asked him if everything was okay and he allegedly told her everything was fine but that he needed the money for a family emergency.
"Normally he lets me come in the house and that day he wouldn't let me come in, he said he wasn't dress for it. He was dressed in no obscene way but I just gave him the money and left," says Baer.
Baer testified after she left she received several more strange calls throughout the evening and Dr.Gill asked her to meet him at Applebees at 9pm as a thank you for cashing the check.
Baer says she went to the restaurant and he wasn't there. She says she called him several times and he never answered so she went home. The next day she received a phone call from Dr.Gill's cell phone from an unknown person saying they found the phone near the canal.
"I didn't recognize the voice, it wasn't Dr.Gill , I was shocked," says Baer.
Baer says that is when she called Yuma Police.
As for her relationship with Strong, she says she knew him through his girl friend at the time Adriana Ozuna who she work with at one time at the Desert Heart Vascular Center.
She says her and Ozuna would attend work "get togethers", parties and they even went on a week long work vacation to Jamaica.
Baer testifies that she was not close with Strong but that he would occasionally babysit her daughter.
News 13 will continue to follow this 9 week trial.
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