Life Sentence In Longview Doctor's Murder - KLTV.com - Tyler, Longview, Jacksonville |ETX News

5/31/06-Longview

Life Sentence In Longview Doctor's Murder

Brad Schwartz Brad Schwartz

  A Tucson, Arizona jury has convicted a doctor of hiring a hitman to kill his former partner, a native east Texan, in 2004. 
  Tuesday, 41 year old Doctor Brad Schwartz was sentenced to life in prison for hiring a hitman to kill Doctor Brian Stidham.    
  Dr. Stidham's family and friends in Longview are still hurting; "It was totally and completely unbelievable this was something you see on T.V. but doesn't happen to someone you know," said family friend Sarah Bridges.
  "He had such potential its such a loss and I can't imagine anybody in their wildest dreams would imagine that kind of end for Brian" said family friend Pam Smith.
  Dr. Brian Stidham was found stabbed to death in a parking lot in October of 2004. Over a 10 week trial in Tucson, prosecutors showed his partner, Brad Schwartz, was angry at him, believing he dissolved their partnership and took clients to his new practice. That's when he turned to a hitman.
  "He made it very well known among all of their friends that he wanted Brian dead, and he said this over and over," Smith said.
  Dr. Stidham, a graduate of Longview High School and Harvard Medical School.  He was married with two young children, and is being remembered for his gentle nature.
  "Nicest... not a nicer, kinder man in the world. Everything that you hope your son would be was what Brian was" said Smith.
  Sarah Bridges has put together a pictorial memorial for Brian, and hopes that is does justice to his memory.
  "I'm really doing it for his children, these children will grow up with no dad, so hopefully there's a little something here that will ease it for them" said Bridges.  
  The accused hit man in the case, Bruce Bigger, is still awaiting trial in Arizona.
  Opening statements are scheduled for September 12th.  Attorneys for Schwartz plan to appeal his sentence.  

Bob Hallmark reporting. bhallmark@kltv.com

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