October 20, 2010
A federal judge today sentenced a Haysville doctor and his wife to years in prison. Judge Monti Belot sentenced Dr. Stephen Schneider to 30 years in prison and his wife Linda to 33 years.
The Schneider's clinic has been linked to dozens of overdose deaths.
During today's sentencing, Judge Belot described the case as a tragedy motivated by greed. He called Linda Schneider, who ran the clinic, a manipulative, uncaring criminal.
Jurors convicted them in June of a moneymaking conspiracy linked to 68 overdose deaths.
Prosecutors argue life sentences would promote respect for the law within the medical community. The defense contends such unduly harsh sentences are likely to discourage doctors from prescribing controlled drugs for fear their patients will mislead them or not use medications as directed.
A juror in the case of a Kansas doctor who ran a clinic prosecutors described as a "pill mill" says the number of overdose notices the doctor received and his response to them was what convinced the jury his behavior was criminal.
Dr. Stephen Schneider and his wife, Linda, were found guilty in June of unlawfully writing prescriptions, health care fraud and money laundering. Jurors convicted them of a moneymaking conspiracy that prosecutors linked to 68 overdose deaths.
Juror Jim Hancock attended their sentencing hearing Tuesday.
In the first public comments by a juror, Hancock told The Associated Press outside the courtroom that the Schneiders' behavior makes it more difficult down the road for legitimate doctors to treat legitimate patients.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.