Wichita A federal judge agreed Friday to hear arguments from a Kansas doctor serving a two-year prison term for prescribing a painkiller to a woman he never met.
In a rare move, U.S. District Judge Monti Belot granted the handwritten request from Lawrence Simons, of Goddard, for an evidentiary hearing. The imprisoned doctor now contends he is innocent and blames his trial attorney for convincing him to plead guilty in 2010 to unlawfully prescribing narcotics.
He argued that the prescriptions he issued were refills given to patients claiming impending withdrawal and patient abandonment. He wrote that he received no profit or favors in exchange for them.
Simons also claimed his trial attorney, E. Jay Greeno, assured him he would receive probation rather than a prison term and did not advise him of the potential consequences of his guilty plea on his medical license and his ability to get a license again to prescribe controlled substances.