EYEWITNESS LOCAL NEWSMILTON DOCTOR SENTENCED
from Eyewitness News Online
Milton Doctor Sentenced For Illegally Prescribing Thousands Of Pills
Reported by: Darrah Wilcox
Web Producer: Jeff Morris
Also Contributing: Tiersa Davis
Reported: Jan. 7, 2013 10:49 AM EST
Updated: Jan. 8, 2013 10:06 AM EST
Huntington , Cabell County , West Virginia
A Milton doctor was sentenced in federal court in Huntington Monday after being convicted of prescribing more than 6,000 pills to a known pain-killer addict.
Dr. Anita Dawson, 55, of Milton was sentenced to two years in federal prison. Dawson pleaded guilty to aiding and abetting in obtaining controlled substances by misrepresentation, fraud, forgery and subterfuge in July, U.S. Attorney Booth Goodwin said.
Dawson admitted that between July 2006 and May 2009, she wrote prescriptions for nearly 6,000 Oxycodone pills to a patient who was supporting an addiction, Goodwin said. Dawson continued to prescribe the pills despite knowing the patient violated a pain management agreement that required the patient to submit to drug tests and pill counts.
Dawson did not have anything to say after her sentencing in federal court Monday, but she did apologize to the families of her patient's victims inside. "I said everything in the courtroom," she told Eyewitness News as she left the federal courthouse Monday afternoon.
In April 2010, Dawson's medical license was suspended and federal and state investigators searched her Milton office.
One of her patients, Erma Brown, was convicted of killing three people in a car crash on Alternate Route 10 in Huntington in 2009 when she was under the influence of prescription drugs. Those victim's families got a chance to face Dawson inside the federal courtroom where she was sentenced. "The family of Kelsey Kuhn, Carol Crawford and Megan Crawford stood up and had their lives and deaths recognized and accountability was placed," Crawford family attorney Chad Lovejoy said.
That type of accountability is what Goodwin said he hopes will drastically reduce these types of cases. He said, "This is way too big a problem for us to bury our heads in the sand. Whether you're a doctor or a street-level dealer, we will prosecute to the fullest extent of the law."
Dawson will voluntary surrender herself to the prison where she is assigned to serve her sentence as soon as the Bureau of Prisons decides where that will be. That could be in about two to four weeks.
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