Schiavo Outraged Over New Probe

Florida Gov. Jeb Bush (left) and Michael Schiavo (right), the husband of Terri Schiavo, a coma patient who Michael says would not wish to be kept alive by extraordinary means. Her parents take the opposite point of view and have had the support of Gov. Bush in their long-running legal battle with their son-in-law.
AP
Gov. Jeb Bush said Friday that a prosecutor has agreed to investigate why Terri Schiavo collapsed 15 years ago, citing an alleged time gap between when her husband found her and when he called 911.

Bush said his request for the probe was not meant to suggest wrongdoing by Michael Schiavo. "It's a significant question that during this ordeal was never brought up," Bush told reporters.

As CBS News Correspondent Wyatt Andrews reports, Michael Schiavo's attorney calls the new investigation political pandering by the governor.

"It's just shameful and disgraceful that Governor Bush has for years used this case to perpetuate his own agenda,'' said attorney George Felos.

In a statement issued by his lawyer, Schiavo called the development an outrage.

"I have consistently said over the years that I didn't wait but 'ran' to call 911 after Terri collapsed," Schiavo said in the release.

In a letter faxed to Pinellas-Pasco County State Attorney Bernie McCabe, the governor said Michael Schiavo testified in a 1992 medical malpractice trial that he found his wife collapsed at 5 a.m. on Feb. 25, 1990, and he said in a 2003 television interview that he found her about 4:30 a.m. He called 911 at 5:40 a.m.

"Between 40 and 70 minutes elapsed before the call was made, and I am aware of no explanation for the delay," Bush wrote. "In light of this new information, I urge you to take a fresh look at this case without any preconceptions as to the outcome."

McCabe was out of state Friday and couldn't immediately be reached for comment, but Bush said McCabe has agreed to his request.

On Wednesday, Michael Schiavo's attorney, George Felos, said his client didn't wait to call for help and has conceded that he confuses dates and times. He has said that if Michael Schiavo had not called 911 immediately, as Bush and others allege, Terri Schiavo would have died that day.

"There is no hour gap or other gap to the point Michael heard Terri fall and called 911," Felos said. "We've seen the baseless allegations in this case fall by the wayside one by one ... That's what I would call it, a baseless claim to perpetuate a controversy that in fact doesn't exist."

Terri Schiavo died March 31 from dehydration after her feeding tube was disconnected at her husband's request, despite years of efforts by her parents, Bush and others to keep her alive.