|Thursday, September 25, 2003
|All 3 have been convicted of crimes that stem from abuse of prescription drugs
Ex-patients of Dr. Knox testify they lied to him
|One man testified that Dr. Cecil Byron Knox traded prescriptions of OxyContin for an antique radio and for a wine rack.
By JEN McCAFFERY
THE ROANOKE TIMES
Todd Richardson didn't tell the truth to Roanoke pain specialist Dr. Cecil Byron Knox when he said he was in pain and always seemed to run out of his OxyContin weeks early.
Bobby Lee Dalton injected OxyContin in the sole of his foot so no track marks would be visible in a typical medical exam.
And Tony Chrisley lied when he told Knox that he was a U.S. Marine when the embassy fell in Saigon during the Vietnam War.
"It was a good way to get in good with him," testified Chrisley.
The three men testified this week at the federal trial of Knox and three of his associates at Southwest Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation in Roanoke.
What they have in common is that they were all at one time Knox's patients , and they are all from Pulaski County, where a significant proportion of Knox's patients came from.
Richardson, Dalton and Chrisley were part of a loosely knit network of patients - which in some cases involved several family members - who sometimes even carpooled together to appointments at Knox's office.
But all three men have also been convicted in connection with crimes that stemmed from their admitted abuse of prescription drugs. Some testified that Knox 's patients traded pills and crushed, snorted and injected them together.
A Pulaski restaurant, Tom's Drive-In , was known for being a place to get OxyContin, Dalton testified. Law enforcement authorities searched the drive-in in connection with that allegation in January 2002.
And two of the men whose names came up often in discussions about Knox 's patients in Pulaski County, Donald Boyer and Junior Boyd, are dead. Federal prosecutors have attributed their deaths to Knox's prescribing OxyContin outside the scope of legitimate medical practice.
Two pharmacists in Pulaski County have also testified that they were concerned about Knox's prescription of powerful painkillers such as OxyContin and methadone. One testified that he mailed a newspaper account of a large prescription drug bust to Knox's office.
Another pharmacist testified that he stopped filling prescriptions for Knox 's patients based on their disheveled appearance and because they would sometimes pay for prescriptions with up to $1,400 in cash.
But even though some of Knox's former patients testified that the painkillers Knox prescribed harmed their faculties - Chrisley testified OxyContin left him "in a stupor" - they also showed a certain resourcefulness when it came to getting the drug.
Chrisley testified that he was caught in both Maryland and North Carolina trying to get OxyContin at pharmacies he had heard filled prescriptions without asking questions. Paul Cole, another former Knox patient from Pulaski County, testified that he would drive down to North Carolina to buy $10,000 to $15,000 worth of OxyContin at a time.
Some of the former Knox patients also testified that they did not become Knox 's patients through traditional referrals.
Dalton, whose brother-in-law Boyer died in May 2000, also said that he was not referred to Knox by another doctor.
"I had heard about him through my brother-in-law," Dalton said. "He talked to Knox and got me in."
Dalton also testified that on two occasions, Knox traded prescriptions of OxyContin for an antique radio and for a wine rack.
Dalton said Knox asked him how much he wanted, then said of the wine rack, "If you bring it down, I'll make it right with you."
When Dalton gave Knox the wine rack, Knox gave him a prescription for 90 80-milligram pills of OxyContin, Dalton testified.
"He asked me would that be suitable enough" referring to the prescription, Dalton testified. "And I said yes."
Dalton also testified that Knox exchanged marijuana for OxyContin prescriptions.
But Chrisley, Dalton and Richardson each testified that Knox tried to either change their medicine or cut them off completely when he learned they were abusing their painkillers.
And defense attorneys questioned their testimony, detailing their convictions and the lies they admitted they told Knox.