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WCBS 880: Jury Nears Verdict In Trial Of Dr. Stan Li

NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) -- After a week of deliberations, a jury is close to reaching a verdict in the case of a doctor accused of peddling pills.

As WCBS 880's Irene Cornell reported, jurors have been pouring through the 200-count indictment in the case of Dr. Stan Li. The charges include manslaughter, reckless endangerment and Medicaid fraud.

Prosecutors have portrayed Li as a drug dealer with a medical degree, alleging up to 100 patients a day would visit his weekend-only Flushing, Queens, office. Visits would take about five minutes each, and patients would pay $100 in cash before walking out with prescriptions for oxycodone and other powerful painkillers, Li's former secretary testified.

Jury Nears Verdict In Trial Of Dr. Stan Li

Li has been charged with the deaths of patients Joseph Hague and Nicholas Rappold. Bottles of oxycodone and Xanax were found next to their bodies, Cornell reported.

The evidence against Li also includes his scribbled records.

At the request of the judge, he reread his charge on the law of reckless manslaughter to the jury.

Li testified in his own defense last month. He admitted he prescribed both psychiatric drugs and painkillers to an emotionally fragile woman and even increased the dosage after the patient told him she wanted to commit suicide.

"I tried to help her," he testified.

He added: "If she followed the instructions, she would not overdose."

Li also testified that he continued to prescribe oxycodone, fentanyl patches and Xanax to a patient even after finding out about the man's hospitalization for overdosing on alcohol.
The doctor admitted he had written the prescription and doubled the doses, even though he knew the patient was receiving prescriptions from other doctors as well.

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.

During closing arguments, defense attorney Raymond Belair said there was a legitimate reason why Li continued to prescribe addictive painkillers to patients he knew were taking too many pills, were doctor shopping, were depressed or suicidal, or who had overdosed in the past. "Because their pain had not gone away," the lawyer said.

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