NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — Continuing his testimony in his own defense Wednesday, Dr. Stan Li admitted that he was prescribing psychiatric drugs and painkillers to an emotionally fragile young woman.
Li is charged in the deaths of four patients who died after overdosing from pills he allegedly prescribed at his clinic in Flushing, Queens.
Prosecutors have portrayed Li as a drug dealer with a medical degree, even alleging 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 admitted he prescribed both psychiatric drugs and painkillers to Elizabeth Cranmore, and even increased the dosage after Cranmore told him she wanted to commit suicide.
“Did you have depraved indifference to the life of this patient?” roared Manhattan Assisant District Attorney Peter Kougasian.
“No,” Li said. “I tried to help her.”
But Li admitted that he continued prescribing the same doses of Xanax and oxycodone, and doubled her Adderall after she had overdosed twice on the pills he prescribed.
“She could have died from those overdoses,” Kougasian said.
“No,” said Li, in a tone that Cornell described as seemingly nonchalant. “If she followed the instructions, she would not overdose.”
Li is charged with manslaughter in the deaths of two patients, and with reckless endangerment in that of a third.
Authorities have also said 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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