|Friday, October 11, 2002
|2 employees of pain doctor also charged
Knox indicted on 313 charges
|The three already face trial on many charges, including illegal drug distribution that resulted in the death or serious injury of patients.
By JEN McCAFFERY
THE ROANOKE TIMES
A Roanoke pain specialist and two of his employees were indicted Wednesday in Charlottesville on 313 federal charges, most in connection with the distribution of drugs for no legitimate medical purpose, which one defense attorney on the case called "gamesmanship" and "intimidation."
Cecil Byron Knox, Beverly Gale Boone and Tiffany Durham, who all worked at Southwest Virginia Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation on Second Street, already face trial in January on charges of conspiracy, health care fraud, mail fraud, obstruction of justice, payment and receipt of kickbacks, illegal drug distribution that resulted in the death or serious injury of patients, and prescription of drugs for no legitimate medical purpose.
Knox, 53, and Boone, 43, both of Roanoke, also face racketeering charges. The new indictment also contains a charge that Knox traded OxyContin prescriptions for marijuana 10 times with a man who was not one of his patients. This is the second time federal prosecutors have sought new charges against defendants in the case. Knox, Boone, William Newbill James Jr., 57, of Roanoke, and Kathleen O'Gee, 54, of Pulaski were also indicted in May for racketeering in addition to other federal charges they face. The last indictment included 58 charges.
William Cleaveland of Roanoke, who is representing Boone, argued that the prosecution's seeking indictment on the additional charges amounted to "gamesmanship" and "intimidation."
The case highlights the increasing legal jockeying of attorneys in the case as the January 6 trial date approaches.
Roanoke attorney Tony Anderson, who is representing Knox, said that "since it's football season, I think they should be penalized 15 yards for piling on."
Cleaveland went further to argue that the prosecution sought the second superceding indictment instead of responding to a ruling by U.S. District Judge Samuel Wilson on Sept. 23 ordering prosecutors to provide the particulars of the charges and when the offenses allegedly occurred.
"All we're trying to figure out is the line between what they were doing as employees, and what the federal government is saying they did as criminals," Cleaveland said. "I don't see that line."
"It strikes me that the government is saying, 'This is what you risk when your assert your constitutional rights,'" Cleaveland said. "You risk being hammered 20 times over."
Salem attorney Jeff Dorsey, who is representing Durham, said that the prosecution was attempting to make connections between events in the indictment where connections can't be made.
U.S. Attorney John Brownlee responded that "we tried to be as specific as possible so that all the defendants have an understanding of what they've been accused of. We think we've done that."
Brownlee declined to comment on Cleaveland's contention that the new charges were vindictive. Rusty Fitzgerald and Patrick Hogeboom are prosecuting the case.
The new charges reference prescriptions of drugs such as OxyContin and methadone to patients, who are identified only by number in the indictment. In the cases of nine patients, the prescription led to death or serious bodily injury, the indictment alleges. It alleges that 23 other patients were prescribed medication for no legitimate medical purpose.
Now, however, Knox, Boone and Durham are charged with reference to each prescription federal prosecutors argue exceeded medical bounds, as opposed to each patient who may have been affected by the prescription.