|Friday, October 10, 2003
|Judge drops 10 counts against pain specialist, 2 associates in OxyContin case
Some charges dropped against Knox
|As the defense began its case Thursday, several of Cecil Knox's former patients testified that the doctor helped them.
By JEN McCAFFERY
THE ROANOKE TIMES
A federal judge dropped 10 more counts Thursday in the case of Roanoke pain specialist Cecil Byron Knox and two of his associates but reserved judgment on the most serious charges. The defense also began presenting its case Thursday.
The dismissal of the additional charges came a day after Wilson dismissed all counts against Kathleen O'Gee, who also worked as a contractor at Knox's Roanoke practice, Southwest Virginia Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation.
But Chief U.S. District Judge Samuel Wilson did not get rid of most of the charges in the indictment. Knox and his office manager, Beverly Gale Boone, still face potential life sentences.
Wilson also ruled that the racketeering and conspiracy charges be dropped for the third defendant in the case, licensed professional counselor Willard Newbill James. He also dismissed eight counts that related to allegations of kickback arrangements with regard to reimbursement for services.
And Knox, 55, no longer faces the charge that he traded OxyContin pills with Edwin Shomaker for marijuana on at least 10 occasions. Shomaker, who testified for federal prosecutors, could not identify Knox either in the courtroom or from a photograph.
Several of Knox's former patients testified for the defense that Knox helped them with their medical problems.
Beverly Douglas, whose husband, Douglas Douglas, was a Knox patient, testified that Knox "gave me back my husband instead of a person who lies in bed in pain all day."
A defendant in the case also testified for the first time Thursday. James testified that he had an arrangement that the practice would take care of the billing for his services. Prosecutor Pat Hogeboom's response was to question James on cross-examination on why he had not been more diligent about contacting federal health care and insurance programs to make sure he was billing his services correctly.
The trial continues today.