The Latest: Lawyer: Woman in fraud case thought she was sick

AP News
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Posted: Apr 07, 2016 4:02 PM

PHOENIX (AP) — The Latest on the trial of an Arizona woman accused of fraud in getting abortion (all times local):

12:45 p.m.

Defense attorneys for an Arizona woman accused of faking a cancer diagnosis to get state funding for a late-term abortion say she genuinely believed she was sick.

Attorney Adam Schwartz said in opening arguments Thursday in Phoenix that Chalice Renee Zeitner was told she had cancer in 2009. He says Zeitner didn't intentionally defraud the state's Medicaid program to pay for her abortion.

Prosecutors say Zeitner lied about having cancer and falsified documents to convince a doctor to perform the procedure.

She has pleaded not guilty to charges including fraudulent schemes, theft and forgery.

Zeitner declined to stay and watch the proceedings, choosing to return to jail.

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9 a.m.

Opening statements are scheduled Thursday at the trial of an Arizona woman accused of faking a cancer diagnosis in a scheme to get the state to pay for her late-term abortion.

Chalice Renee Zeitner is accused of presenting falsified medical records to support her claim that she had cancer and telling an obstetrician that her pregnancy put her life in danger.

The Arizona health care program in which Zeitner was enrolled covers the costs of abortions in limited circumstances, such as when a mother's life is endangered.

Investigators say the scheme was discovered a year after the April 2010 abortion when a doctor who delivered Zeitner's subsequent pregnancy found no signs of cancer.

Zeitner has pleaded not guilty to charges of fraudulent schemes, identity theft, theft, attempted theft and forgery.