Defense reprimanded by judge in McElwee trial - KSLA News 12 Shreveport, Louisiana News Weather & Sports

Defense reprimanded by judge in McElwee trial

3:45 PM Sept. 25
SHREVEPORT, LA (KSLA) - In continuing coverage of the trial of Dr. Tandy McElwee, KSLA News 12  learned that Federal Judge Maurice Hicks had to reprimand the defense.

When the trial recessed for lunch, it was brought to the judge's attention that Dr. McElwee and a juror had rode the elevator together. During an active trial, neither prosecutors or defense are allowed to have any contact with the jury.

Judge Hicks did however say that during that close contact, neither McElwee nor the juror who the judge refused to identify exchanged words.

KSLA News 12 has learned that that juror will remain on the jury until verdict deliberations. At that time, the judge ordered that both the defense and prosecutors will have to pick one of two alternates to fill that jurors place.

At last check, two more witnesses for the prosecution had taken the stand.

Hannah Williams, a former employee of Dr. McElwee's office testified of her duties following the federal subpoena of patient medical records.

Following Williams, Shannon Brannon, also a former employee and recently indicted on the prescription fraud charges also took the stand.

Prosecutors asked Brannon a series of questions pertaining to the process of writing prescriptions and events following the federal subpoena of patient charts.

Brannon told the court that employees at the time of the subpoena helped make up false charts for patients that were not in actuality patients of Dr. McElwee'

She also told the courts how the employees involved in the prescription fraud obtained their prescriptions.

Prosecutors questioned Brannon on an alleged book, which was used in the office to document Loratab dispersment.

It was brought to the court's attention that in the alleged book several employees of Dr. McElwee's names were in that book and Brannon testified that the dates and amounts listed in the book for Brannon were inaccurate.

Earlier Friday morning, Shreveport Police officer Jerry Alkire, a 15 year veteran of SPD testified on behalf of the prosecution.

Prosecutors asked Alkire about an incident that happened with Kristina Randall, the alleged sister of Wendy Chriss, a former employee of McElwee.

According to officer Alkire, Randall was arrested by him prior to the closing down of McElwee's office and charged with possession of Schedule II narcotic-Loratab.

The officer testified stating that the prescription found on Randall was in Chriss's name.

Prosecutors then showed the jury the alleged prescription and a letter Randall's lawyer sent Dr. McElwee concerning Randall's possible drug abuse along with a reply letter from Dr. McElwee.

Second on the stand Robin Mills, a pharmacy tech for Fred's Pharmacy in both Haughton and Benton, Louisiana.

Mills testified of numerous prescriptions being faxed in from McElwee's office without a doctor's signature.

Mills told the court that she called Dr. McElwee's office to verify the prescriptions and was able to speak directly to McElwee, who according to Mills okayed the prescriptions.

Earlier Friday morning Stacy Mannor, a pharmacist for Wal-Mart Supercenter in Bossier City took the stand. She told the jury she saw lots of prescriptions that came from Dr. McElwee's office, specifically for 50-count bottles of Lortab.

Mannor said at one point, she called Dr. McElwee's office to discuss her concerns about the numerous prescriptions being written, and she spoke with Ava McElwee.

Mannor said McElwee's office closed six months later.

The second witness of the morning was Miguel Montavo, a U.S. Postal Service law enforcement officer. Prosecutors showed him a list of addresses where the alleged patients of Dr. McElwee lived. Montavo testified the addresses on the list were fake.

We'll have more on the McElwee trial throughout the day on ksla.com.

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