McElwee takes the stand during his prescription fraud trial

6:30 pm Sept. 29
The defense went through the indictment and asked Dr. McElwee if he comitted each count.  He said that he did not commit any of the counts except for two of them involving writing false prescriptions for his dog Brandi and his former daughter in-law Conchita McElwee.  He says he did this because he could not practice medicine with the pain he was suffering and didn't want to retire from practicing medicine. 
The trial will resume Wednesday morning at 8:30 with Dr. McElwee on the stand.

5:30pm Sept. 29 
Dr. McElwee and the defense showed the jury some of the prescription papers that did not look like his normal stationary. They had false addresses and Dr. McElwee's signature was forged on them.

The defense asked Dr. McElwee did he know these prescriptions were going out of his office and he said no.

He said that there was no way that he could have kept track of every single prescription that came in and out of his office, unless he went through every single chart, every single day and called every pharmacy every single day.

4:30 pm Sept. 29
Dr. Tandy McElwee, in federal court on charges of prescription drug fraud, took the stand in his defense Tuesday afternoon.

Prior to McElwee's testimony, Judge Maurice Hicks returned from recess and said the defense could not ask Dr. John Brady about McElwee's current medical condition.

At 3:00 pm, Dr. McElwee was called to the witness stand by his defense attorney, Marty Stroud.

Stroud asked McElwee to talk about his 30-year career in medicine. McElwee said he had delivered between 7,000 and 8,000 babies. He said when he retired in 2007, he had 7,400 open patient files. He also said he was seeing between 40 and 60 patients a day, delivering babies and performing surgeries, and working between 10 and 12 hour-a-day before he retired.

When the conversation changed to writing prescriptions, McElwee said he believed he had the authority to dispense dangerous, controlled substances.

Stroud then showed McElwee's DEA License Card to the jury, which stated the federal government could revoke the privilege to dispense dangerous controlled substances. McElwee testified that he assumed if the federal government could take away the privilege to dispense dangerous controlled substances, the government would have to give him the authority to dispense them first.

Stroud next asked McElwee about the 22 patient charts the Medical Board of Louisiana had requested during their investigation of his office. Stroud asked McElwee if it was his intent to alter the charts. McElwee said it wasn't, that he told his staff to complete the charts, which would have been a part of their normal job.

2:30 pm Sept. 29
A question asked to a defense witness raised concerns with Judge Maurice Hicks, who promptly called a recess so he could research the implications of the question.

The question became an issue when the defense called Dr. John Brady to the witness stand. Brady is a board certified internal medical specialist from Bossier City and has been Dr. Tandy McElwee's physician since the late 1980s.

While under questioning from Defense Attorney Marty Stroud, Brady was asked to give his opinion of McElwee's overall health.

The question brought an immediate objection from prosecutors.

Stroud said he was asking Brady to respond with his overall opinion, not as an expert witness. However Judge Hicks questioned the scope of the question because Brady's response would have to be based on his expertise since he's a medical doctor and not a lay person with no medical training.

Hicks said this was an "area fraught with concern."

The judge then asked prosecutors if they felt the defense was back-dooring evidence by not declaring McElwee's medical records as evidence before the trial, instead bringing the records up through Brady's testimony. The prosecution agreed, adding that McElwee's current medical condition was not relevant since the prescription fraud occurred between 2003 and 2007.

Hicks then called a recess, saying he needed to research previous law cases to determine how the trial should proceed.

Prior to the recess, the defense called Susan Hotard to the stand. She was one of the seven people named when the prescription drug fraud indictment first came out, and later pled guilty to the charges. After a few questions from the defense and a single question from the prosecution, she was released.

1:45 pm Sept. 29
Defense Attorneys for Dr. Tandy McElwee, his wife Ava, and Catherine Cockrell all presented motions to Judge Maurice Hicks for a judgment of acquittal for their clients. Judge Hicks denied the motion for all three defendants. The trial has resumed.

12:00 pm Sept. 29
SHREVEPORT, LA (KSLA) - Federal prosecutors have rested their case against three Ark-La-Tex people facing charges of participating in prescription drug fraud.

As the case resumed Tuesday morning against Dr. Tandy McElwee, his wife Ava and a third defendant, prosecutors had brought DEA Special Agent Robert Webb back to the stand for more testimony. Webb and prosecutors went through more prescription records before prosecutors rested their case just before 11:00 am Tuesday.

After sending the jury out of the courtroom, Defense Attorney Marty Stroud presented a motion for a judgment of acquittal for his client, Dr. McElwee. After hearing from both Stroud and prosecutors, Judge Maurice Hicks denied the acquittal motion.

Shortly before noon, Ava McEwlee's defense attorney also motioned for a judgment of acquittal for his client.

Look for the latest news from the McElwee trial later on and KSLA News 12 at 5 and 6.

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