VICKSBURG, Miss. — A Louisiana physician who faces prescription drug fraud charges after his Mississippi home was raided by narcotics agents in 2011 is asking a judge to delay his trial.
The Vicksburg Post reports (http://bit.ly/1tzP0KU ) Dr. Lawrence Francis Chenier III says in court papers that he has hired a new attorney who needs time to prepare for trial.
Trial is currently set for July 21 before Warren County Circuit Judge M. James Chaney. Chenier recently hired attorney Lisa Ross of Jackson after being represented by Marshal Sanders.
Chaney has scheduled a hearing for Monday on the request.
The 61-year-old Chenier lives in Vicksburg and has a medical practice in Tallulah, Louisiana. He is charged with 74 counts of prescription forgery and a count of conspiracy.
Prosecutors argue Chenier wrote prescriptions for 13,000 pills under assumed names to his co-defendant and live-in girlfriend Patti Carr of Vicksburg.
Authorities said Carr picked up painkillers hydrocodone and Lyrica at a Vicksburg pharmacy using prescriptions from Chenier. More than 300 empty pill bottles were found inside a bedroom closet at the home the couple shared in Viocklsburg.
In June, Chaney declined to dismiss charges against Chenier. The judge dismissed Chenier's argument that if the prescriptions were written in Louisiana, Mississippi courts had no jurisdiction over the case.
The two were arrested in September of 2011. Chenier and Carr are each free on $100,000 bond.
Chenier is currently listed on the roster at Madison Parish Hospital. According to the hospital's website, however, the state of Louisiana has placed his medical license on probation.
Chenier received his medical degree in 1980 at Meharry Medical College in Nashville and has been in practice since 1982, records show.
Information from: The Vicksburg Post, http://www.vicksburgpost.com