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Monroe County Physician Charged with Prescribing Pain Medications Outside the Course of Professional Medical Practice, Which Resulted in the Death of a Patient

U.S. Attorney’s Office June 11, 2014
  • Western District of Kentucky (502) 582-5911

BOWLING GREEN, KY—A Monroe County, Kentucky physician was charged by federal grand jury in Bowling Green, Kentucky, today with prescribing pain medications outside the course of professional medical practice, which resulted in the death of a patient, announced David J. Hale, United States Attorney for the Western District of Kentucky.

Clella Louise Hayes, whose medical practice is located in Tompkinsville, Kentucky, was charged in a 13-count indictment with dispensing and distributing Schedule II controlled substances and Schedule III controlled substances outside the course of her professional medical practice. Hayes, age 39, of Glasgow, Kentucky, is charged with issuing and authorizing prescriptions for fentanyl, morphine, oxycodone, Demerol, hydrocodone, Cheratussin, and valium. According to the indictment, the alleged activities occurred between June 2010 through March 2014 and included eight patients.

Specifically, the indictment alleges that on or about September 19, 2011, Hayes intentionally dispensed and distributed the Schedule II pain medication fentanyl to a patient, which resulted in the patient’s death. Further, between June 2009 and September 2011, Hayes is alleged to have intentionally dispensed and distributed Schedule II controlled substances to the same patient, outside the course of professional medical practice, by issuing and authorizing prescriptions for morphine, oxycodone, and Demerol. During the same time period, the indictment charges Hayes with prescribing the Schedule III medication hydrocodone to the same patient outside the course of professional medical practice.

If convicted at trial, Hayes faces a minimum sentence of 20 years in prison, and a maximum sentence of life in prison, a fine of up to $2,500,000, and three years of supervised release.

This case is being prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney David Weiser and is being investigated by the Kentucky State Police (KSP) Drug Enforcement/Special Investigations West and the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), with assistance from the Tompkinsville Police Department.

The indictment of a person by a grand jury is an accusation only, and that person is presumed innocent until and unless proven guilty.

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