McElwee, others found guilty in drug fraud trial

10:30 pm Oct. 2
Dr. Tandy McElwee, his wife Ava, and former employee Catherine Cockrell were all found guilty in their federal prescription drug fraud trial.

The verdict came down from the jury about 9:30 pm after they spend most of the day deliberating the case.

Of the 87 total counts in the original indictment filed by federal prosecutors, Dr. McElwee was found guilty on 32 of them, his wife Ava guilty of just two, and Cockrell guilty of seven.

So far there is no word on a sentencing date.

12:30 pm Oct. 2
SHREVEPORT, LA (KSLA) - Friday morning brought day two of jury deliberations in the prescription drug fraud trial of Dr. Tandy McElwee, his wife Ava and former employee Catherine Cockrell.

Just before 11:15 Friday morning, U.S. District Judge Maurice Hicks reconvened court to address a second note coming from the jury.

The jury sent a request to see more documents including patient files, or charts. At issue is who approved and who signed for the narcotic pain medication Hydrocodone, also known as Lortab, and consequently, who sent the paperwork to the insurance companies.

Prosecutors have painted a picture of McElwee's business as a medical practice that set up its own private drug store, dispensing products with little if any oversight.

The files in question the jury wants to see involve McElwee's former employee inside his Bossier City OBGYN clinic, Wendy Criss.

She has already made a plea deal in the indictment and will not face sentencing until after this trial is over.

11:45 am
All three defense attorneys expressed confusion over the jury's interest in those particular files that jurors want to see. The attorneys also questioned how it all relates to some of the 80-plus counts against the three defendants.

12:15 pm
After full hour of haggling over the fine points of the request, Judge Hicks told both sides to agree upon what files to send and in what order to the jury.

In a very practical sense, this means the jury will be handed more boxes of evidence to sort through. It's very possible this means instead of a quick day for the jury, it will instead become another marathon deliberation session.

©2009 KSLA-TV. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.