Sunday, April 20, 2003

Doctor gets 20 years for bad scrips

The Associated Press

VANCEBURG, Ky. - An eastern Kentucky doctor has been sentenced to 20 years in prison for illegally prescribing controlled substances.

Dr. Fortune Williams, 54, a California pediatrician who worked at a small clinic at Garrison, had been convicted March 17 on all counts of a four-count indictment by a Lewis County jury.

Judge Lewis D. Nicholls followed the jury's recommendation that Williams be sentenced to the maximum five-year prison term on each count. Williams has to serve those sentences consecutively, making the sentence 20 years.

Commonwealth's Attorney Clifford R. Duvall had suggested Williams lowered himself to being a street-level drug dealer at 1st Care clinic "and needs to be treated like that."

Prosecutors claimed at least 4,000 patients swarmed to the clinic at Garrison. They also calculated the clinic in a town of 800 people was taking in up to $14,000 a day in cash.

Nicholls granted an appeal bond of $25,000 cash for Williams, who has been in Lewis County Jail since August under a $10,000 cash bond.

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