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Area pill mill trial shifts focus to patients who died

Staff Report • Jul 9, 2009 at 12:00 AM

The Knoxville News Sentinel is reporting that the trial of the Hawkins County doctor accused of running a pill mill that lead to the death of at least five people focused Wednesday on the question: If the pills were the murder weapon, who pulled the trigger?Two grief-stricken mothers described their daughters' descent into deadly opiate addiction while addicts readily admitted lying to Dr. John T. Hancock to secure the prescription drugs during Wednesday's testimony.Federal prosecutors Neil Smith and Nancy Harr contend that Hancock's clinic was nothing more than a cash-based prescription mill. They allege that his prescribing practices led to the deaths of at least five patients and made addicts of even more.Defense attorney Richard Gaines call several witnesses Wednesday to bolster his insistence that Hancock had been a victim himself of pill-seeking junkies. CLICK HERE for the full report.

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