McElwee drug fraud trial enters new week

6:00 update:

SHREVEPORT, LA (KSLA) - Since 5 PM, another one of Dr. Tandy McElwee's former office workers took the stand.  It was Karen Martin.  She worked for Dr. McElwee from 1990 to 2007. 

Martin testified the office was very loud and she could hear employees calling in prescriptions for one another.  She says she was also aware of several hydrocodone pill deliveries coming into the office.  Martin testified she worked close to the fax machine and she says she saw several faxes sent to pharmacies that were never shredded.  She also told jurors she copied paperwork for DEA special agent Robert Webb.

5:00 update:

SHREVEPORT, LA (KSLA) - The Dr. Tandy McElwee prescription fraud trial featured an expert witness this afternoon.  Dr. Michael Fleming took the stand.  He was a family physician from 1978 to 2006 and now works for a medical company.

The prosecution asked Dr. Fleming if he would recommend a doctor treating his own staff or prescribing them controlled substances.  He said it would be inappropriate because you could overlook things when treating someone that close to you.  Dr. Fleming also stated prescribing controlled substances to your own staff could prevent them from functioning properly at work.

During cross examination, the defense asked Dr. Fleming if his testimony was based on his experience and not on any medical board laws.  He agreed it was based on his experience.

12:30 update:

SHREVEPORT, LA (KSLA) - The trial of a Bossier City doctor, his wife and a third defendant on prescription fraud charges is starting to take its toll on the defendants.

Defense Attorney Richard Gorley, who represents Katherine Cockrell, said the trial and all the testimony is starting to wear down his client, Dr. Tandy McElwee, and his wife Ava.

As the trial resumed on Monday, three more witnesses took the stand. The last witness before the lunch break was Thomas Coleman, a pharmacist for the CVS Pharmacy on Airline Drive in Bossier City.

Prosecutors had Coleman go through various prescription logs kept by the pharmacy from 2006 and 2007. Coleman also talked about several prescriptions made out to and picked up by Ava McElwee.

Other testimony from Coleman described how CVS Pharmacy electronically verifies insurance information.

Under cross-examination from the defense, Coleman was asked if the dates when the prescriptions were picked up seemed out of range compared to when people normally pick up their prescriptions. Coleman stated everything he noticed seemed normal.

The trial is in recess until early afternoon.

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