NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — A doctor who is accused of manslaughter in the death of two drug-addicted patients testified Monday that he continued to prescribe powerful painkillers even after he had learned that a patient had been hospitalized for an alcohol overdose.
Prosecutors have portrayed Dr. Stan Li – who operated a clinic in Flushing, Queens, as a drug dealer with a medical degree. Prosecutors have even alleged the doctor kept writing narcotics prescriptions to one patient who overdosed five times in a year and another whose father implored him to stop.
As WCBS 880’s Irene Cornell reported, Li testified under cross-examination Monday that he continued to prescribing oxycodone and fentanyl patches, and Xanax, to a patient named Michael Cornetta – even after finding out about Cornetta’s hospitalization for the overdose on alcohol.
Li admitted he had written the prescriptions, and even doubled the doses, even though he knew that the patient was getting prescriptions from other doctors as well.
Li said the patient was cheating.
Prosecutor Peter Kougasian asked Li if he had been told that the patient was also selling prescriptions to other addicts. Li said he had, but did not report the incident to police.
Li is charged with manslaughter in the death of two other patients, and with reckless endangerment in Cornetta’s death.
Authorities have also said that Li provided 24 prescriptions filled by David Laffer, who later pleaded guilty to killing four people in the 2011 robbery of a pharmacy in Medford, Long Island.
Laffer is serving a life sentence for murder. His wife, Melinda Brady, admitted to driving the getaway car and is serving 25 years.
Li’s lawyer has said the New Jersey-based doctor acted properly and that Li didn’t know some patients were misusing drugs he prescribed.
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