Las Vegas jury hears pro golfer's suicide note

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Las Vegas jury hears pro golfer's suicide note
Erica Blasberg, a professional golfer, committed suicide in 2010. Thomas Hess, a physician who was treating her prior to her death, is accused of having an inappropriate relationship with her and failing to provide proper medical care in a lawsuit brought by her parents.
A portrait of LPGA golfer Erica Blasberg is displayed at her memorial service at Eagle Glen Golf Club in Corona, Calif., Wednesday, May 19, 2010. Blasberg, whose sudden death last week is still under investigation, was remembered Wednesday as a talented athlete and caring person during a public memorial in her hometown. (AP Photo/Nick Ut)
FILE - This Aug. 24, 2010 file photo provided by the Henderson, Nev., Police Department shows Dr. Thomas Hess. Jury selection is entering a third day in Las Vegas Wednesday, May 7, 2014, in a civil wrongful death and medical malpractice lawsuit against Hess, a Nevada physician who found the body of women’s professional golfer Erica Blasberg after she committed suicide in May 2010. Hess pleaded guilty in late 2010 to a misdemeanor obstruction charge for removing a suicide note and prescription medications from Blasberg's home in Henderson before police arrived to investigate her death. Blasberg’s father, Mel Blasberg, accuses the 46-year-old Hess of having an inappropriate personal relationship with the 25-year-old golf professional, and of failing to provide proper medical care before she died. (AP Photo/Henderson Police Department, File)
Mel Blasberg, right, hugs an unidentified mourner outside of a memorial service for his daughter LPGA golfer Erica Blasberg at Eagle Glen Golf Club in Corona, Calif., Wednesday, May 19, 2010. Blasberg, whose sudden death last week is still under investigation, was remembered Wednesday as a talented athlete and caring person during a public memorial in her hometown. (AP Photo/Nick Ut)
MOBILE, AL - MAY 13: Mi Hyun Kim of South Korea walks down the 11th fairway during first round play in Bell Micro LPGA Classic at the Magnolia Grove Golf Course on May 13, 2010 in Mobile, Alabama. Kim and other players are wearing a purple ribbon in rememberence of LPGA player Erica Blasberg who died earlier this week. (Photo by Dave Martin/Getty Images)
KAHUKU, HI - FEBRUARY 12: Erica Blasberg hits her tee shot on the 3rd hole during the first round of the SBS Open on February 12, 2009 at the Turtle Bay Resort in Kahuku, Hawaii. (Photo by Andy Lyons/Getty Images)
MOBILE, AL - SEPTEMBER 12: Erica Blasberg watches her approach shot on the 7th fairway during second round play in the Bell Micro LPGA Classic at Magnolia Grove Golf Course on September 12, 2008 in Mobile, Alabama. (Photo by Dave Martin/Getty Images)
MOBILE, AL - SEPTEMBER 12: Erica Blasberg pulls a club from her bag on the 7th fairway during second round play in the Bell Micro LPGA Classic at Magnolia Grove Golf Course on September 12, 2008 in Mobile, Alabama. (Photo by Dave Martin/Getty Images)
SPRINGFIELD, IL - JULY 19: Erica Blasberg watches her drive on the eighth hole during the third round of the State Farm Classic at Panther Creek Country Club on July 19, 2008 in Springfield, Illinois. (Photo by Gregory Shamus/Getty Images)
CORNING, NY - MAY 25: Erica Blasberg hits her tee shot on the seventh hole during the final round of the LPGA Corning Classic at Corning Country Club on May 25, 2008 in Corning, New York. (Photo by Kyle Auclair/Getty Images)
KAPOLEI, HI - FEBRUARY 21: Erica Blasberg and her caddie line up a putt on the 9th hole during the first round of the Fields Open on February 21, 2008 at the Ko Olina Golf Club in Kapolei, Hawaii. (Photo by Andy Lyons/Getty Images)
SPRINGFIELD, IL - SEPTEMBER 2: Erica Blasberg walks to the 11th green during the final round of the State Farm Classic at Panther Creek Country Club on September 2, 2007 in Springfield, Illinois. (Photo by Hunter Martin/Getty Images)
SINGAPORE - DECEMBER 10: International team player Erica Blasberg (L) is congratulated by Janice Moodie after she sunk an eagle on the 18th hole during the four-ball matches against Jennifer Rosales and Namika Omata of the Asia team at the 2005 Lexus Cup on December 10, 2005 at the Tanah Merah Country Club in Singapore. ( Photo by Stanley Chou/Getty Images)
Paula Creamer and Erica Blasberg enjoy the closing ceremony of the Curtis Cup at the Formby Golf Club. June 13, 2004 (Photo by Pete Fontaine/WireImage)
FORMBY, ENGLAND - JUNE 13: The winning USA team, (front row, kneeling) Liz Janangelo and Jane Park (back row) Annie Thurman, Sarah Huarte, Michelle Wie, Captain Martha Kirouac, Paula Creamer, Brittany Lang and Erica Blasberg hold The Curtis Cup trophy at the 2004 Curtis Cup Matches at Formby Golf Club on June 13, 2004 in Formby, England. (Photo by Stuart Franklin/Getty Images)
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LAS VEGAS (AP) - A suicide note left by professional golfer Erica Blasberg in 2010 blames no one, expresses deep personal unhappiness and describes a mixture of drugs kicking in before ending with the words, "love and kisses, eternity, Erica."

"I'm sad and don't want to be doing this right now," the 25-year-old wrote in the letter that was read to a jury on Wednesday. "Sorry for all the people I've hurt doing this, but please understand how miserable and sad I am, and that I feel no way of escaping it."

The note provided a dramatic opening to a civil wrongful death, medical malpractice and breach of fiduciary duty trial against Blasberg's then-physician, occasional golfing buddy and personal friend, Dr. Thomas Hess.

Blasberg's parents accuse Hess of having had an inappropriate relationship with her and failing to provide proper medical care before she died. Their lawsuit, filed in 2011 in Clark County District Court, seeks unspecified monetary damages.

Hess, now 46, denies having a romantic relationship with Blasberg. He pleaded guilty in late 2010 to a misdemeanor obstruction charge for removing the suicide note and medications after discovering Blasberg's body, and was sentenced to one year of probation and 40 hours of community service.

Blasberg's parents' attorney, Nick Crosby, told the jury Wednesday that circumstantial evidence and series of seemingly secretive acts surrounding their communication point to Hess' responsibility in the death.

"This is a case about a doctor who let his personal interest get in the way of his professional responsibility," Crosby said, "and my clients' daughter died as a result."

Two days before she died, Blasberg and Hess played golf at the exclusive Southern Highlands Golf Club outside Las Vegas, where both had free memberships, Crosby said. They then watched a televised hockey game at a lounge at a resort hotel in Henderson, where they were seen touching hands and with Hess' hand on Blasberg's leg.

The married Hess bought a prepaid cellular telephone the next day, which he used only to call Blasberg, and Crosby said evidence would show that Hess left an obviously drunk Blasberg at her home the night before she died.

"He left her in a compromised state," Crosby said. "He was torn between leaving Erica and getting in trouble with his wife."

Crosby said phone records show that Blasberg tried to call Hess about 3:30 a.m. the following morning - a Sunday, Mother's Day - and that Hess tried to call Blasberg eight times that morning and nine times that afternoon before going to her home in Henderson and finding her body.

Blasberg was in bed with a dust mask over her mouth and a plastic bag over her head, secured by rubber bands.

The Clark County coroner determined that she committed suicide by asphyxiation, with a toxic combination of medications in her system.

Crosby told the jury that Hess' then-wife texted Hess that she was "sad, scared and disappointed" to learn of Blasberg's death and that she suspected from his distress the night before that Hess had been ending a relationship with someone.

But defense attorney Kim Irene Mandelbaum told the jury that there was no evidence that Hess killed Blasberg or that the two had a romantic relationship.

Blasberg had been seeing a psychiatrist for depression, but Hess didn't know that, the defense attorney said.

Hess "stupidly removed the suicide note and a blister pack of Mexican medications, Xanax," Mandelbaum said.

Hess has maintained he was trying to spare Blasberg's family from anguish.

Blasberg's note - read in court on Wednesday by Mandelbaum - referred once to "many people who will know who they are when this is read," and twice referred to stockpiling over several months the drugs she was taking.

"I blame no one for the drugs I am taking this evening," it says.

None of the medications had been prescribed by Hess, Mandelbaum said.

"I know her parents want to blame Dr. Hess," the defense attorney said. "But there's no one to blame. Certainly, not Dr. Hess."

"He was in the wrong place at the wrong time."

Blasberg was from Corona, California, where she was coached by her father and became a junior golf standout.

She was an All-American in 2003 and 2004 at the University of Arizona and turned professional in June 2004. Her best year was 2008, when she earned a career-best tie for eighth at the SBS Open in Hawaii and more than $113,000 in winnings, the LPGA said.

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