The Latest: Prison sentences upheld in Kansas overdose case

AP News
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Posted: Sep 24, 2015 6:43 PM

WICHITA, Kan. (AP) — The latest developments in the re-sentencing of Kansas doctor and his wife who were convicted of running a moneymaking conspiracy at a clinic that prosecutors have linked to 68 drug-overdose deaths (all times local):

5:15 p.m.

Defense attorneys say they'll appeal the decades-long prison sentences given to a Kansas doctor and his wife who were convicted on charges linking their clinic to dozens of overdose deaths.

Dr. Stephen Schneider was resentenced Thursday to 30 years in prison, while his wife, Linda, was again given 33 years in prison. Both pleaded for leniency, but the judge said he believed the couple still didn't appreciate the harm they caused.

The Schneiders have said they helped people manage chronic pain at their clinic in Haysville. But prosecutors say the couple created a clinic permeated by fraud that cost numerous lives, created many addictions and cost government health care programs millions of dollars.

3:40 p.m.

A federal judge has upheld the decades-long prison sentences for a Kansas doctor and his wife who were convicted in a moneymaking conspiracy linked to 68 drug overdose deaths.

The Haysville couple was convicted in 2010 of conspiracy to commit health care fraud resulting in deaths, unlawfully prescribing drugs, health care fraud and money laundering.

The judge ordered a new sentencing after the U.S. Supreme Court ruled last year that a victim's drug use must be the actual cause of death, not just a contributing factor. But on Thursday, the judge upheld the original prison sentences.

3:20 p.m.

A federal judge has decided not to order restitution in the case of a Kansas doctor and his wife who were convicted in a moneymaking conspiracy linked to 68 drug overdose deaths.

U.S. District Judge Monti Belot said Thursday that it would be nearly impossible to assess in the criminal case how much money the couple owed former patients. Belot also noted that numerous lawsuits have been filed in the case.

The judge made the decision while deciding how to resentence the couple.

Dr. Stephen Schneider told the court he was truly sorry if he and his wife hurt the community and said he hoped for mercy. His wife, Linda, also asked the judge for compassion.

Assistant U.S. Attorney Tanya Treadway argued this wasn't a case for mercy. She says the deaths of at least 68 people have been linked to the clinic, and many other people became addicted.

2 p.m.

A federal judge says he anticipates an appeal of whatever happens at the new sentencing hearing for a Kansas doctor and his wife, who were convicted of a moneymaking conspiracy linked to 68 drug-overdose deaths.

U.S. District Judge Monti Belot says he plans to issue his ruling from the bench Thursday after taking up the separate cases of Stephen Schneider and his wife, Linda.

The Haysville couple was convicted in 2010 of conspiracy to commit health care fraud resulting in deaths, unlawfully prescribing drugs, health care fraud and money laundering. The now 62-year-old doctor was initially sentenced to 30 years in prison; his 57-year-old wife was sentenced to 33 years.

But the judge ordered a new sentencing after the U.S. Supreme Court ruled last year that a victim's drug use must be the actual cause of death, not just a contributing factor.