New Castle News

Closer Look

September 17, 2013

Doctor’s sentencing delayed, mistrial sought

NEW CASTLE — Sentencing for Dr. Van Edward Scott has been re-scheduled for 11 a.m. Oct. 29.

Scott, 61, was convicted in June on 10 of the 14 charges against him. Guilty verdicts were returned on six counts of prescribing outside accepted treatment principles/prescribing not in good faith in the course of professional practice and one count each of prescribing to a drug-dependent person, obstructing administration of law or other governmental functions, tampering with or fabricating physical evidence and dealing in unlawful proceeds.

He was a pain doctor who lived in New Wilmington and operated a pain management clinic in Neshannock Township.

Scott had been scheduled to be sentenced Monday by Lawrence County President Judge Dominick Motto, but defense attorney J.J. Sandlin of Yakima, Wash., asked for a mistrial.

He contended one of the jury members should have been disqualified.

Sandlin presented a sworn affidavit and testimony from attorney Stanley T. Booker that Booker’s ex-wife, Chastity King Williams, “has a profound, negative opinion regarding prescription medication.

“She believes that doctors systematically over-prescribe medication,” Booker said.

He testified this belief stems from her brother’s problems with drug addiction and is so strong, she prohibited their teenage daughter from taking an antidepressant medication prescribed by a physician.

Booker also said he had discussed Scott with his former wife in the course of preparing a defense for another client. He said these and other things in his ex-wife’s background should have disqualified her from the jury.

Called as a witness by Maureen Sheehan-Balchon of the Attorney General’s Drug Strike Task Force in Butler, Williams said she has no prejudice against prescription medication or doctors who prescribe them. She noted she has friends in the medical field.

In the case of her daughter, she said, after consulting with acquaintances, she opted for her daughter not to take drugs for depression, saying, “I felt she was a little spoiled and medication was not appropriate.”

She noted that when the same daughter had dental surgery, she saw to it that the child received prescribed pain medication following that procedure.

Williams also said she never had discussed a case with her ex-husband, had not known of Scott until she was called to serve on the jury and her brother’s drug addiction had no bearing on her thoughts on medication.

She also said she had tried hard not to be selected for the jury, disclosing she had been married to a defense attorney (Booker) and that her aunt had been a deputy attorney general in Connecticut.

To a claim that she knows one of the witnesses called in the case, Williams said she had known the woman by another name when she was growing up, and was not aware it is the same woman until she saw her on the witness stand.


Text Only | Photo Reprints
Closer Look
  • well.jpg Lawyers to address fracking

    Lawyers will address public concerns about oil and gas regulations and other topics at a program next month. Oday Salim and Megan Lovett of Fair Shake Environmental Legal Services in Pittsburgh and attorney Michael Oliverio of Lynch Weis in Cranberry Township are to present the program.

    August 1, 2014 1 Photo

  • Yauger.jpg Yauger enters guilty plea in federal court

    The former executive director of the local intermediate unit has entered a guilty plea in federal court.


    July 31, 2014 1 Photo

  • Lottery.jpg Lottery officials: Seniors should get smaller payout

    State lottery officials say less means more for seniors. The lottery took in $3.8 billion in sales last year and will give more than $1 billion of it — or 28.5 percent — to programs for senior citizens.

    July 31, 2014 1 Photo

  • phone.jpg Attorney general warns of phone scams

    Assorted scams in the commonwealth have prompted a warning from the Pennsylvania Attorney General’s Office. Attorney General Kathleen G. Kane said several scams have been reported to the Bureau of Consumer Protection in recent weeks.

    July 30, 2014 1 Photo

  • disability.jpg Disabilities group unveils new icon

    Disability Options Network is joining forces with the Accessible Icon Project. Officials of the community organization, located at 1929 E. Washington St., said its new icon will replace the current international symbol for accessibility.

    July 29, 2014 1 Photo

  • well.jpg Auditor: State doesn’t have enough inspectors to monitor wells

    The state’s 83 well inspectors face a daunting enough challenge keeping tabs on 120,000 active oil and gas wells that have been drilled over the last century.


    July 29, 2014 1 Photo

  • vote.jpg Independent hopefuls may widen gubernatorial field

    Just when Pennsylvania voters were getting used to the idea of a gubernatorial election showdown between Republican incumbent Tom Corbett and Democratic challenger Tom Wolf, other hopefuls may soon be joining the fray.

    July 28, 2014 1 Photo

  • manna.jpg John K. Manna: Measuring the money

    Should we even bother to have an election in November? By some accounts, maybe the results of some contests are already in.

    July 26, 2014 1 Photo

  • shooting.jpg Man injured in city shooting

    A man was flown to a Pittsburgh hospital Thursday morning following a shooting on West Lincoln Avenue.


    July 25, 2014 1 Photo

  • police.jpg Police: Man pulls gun on construction workers

    Construction workers in Neshannock Township flagged down police Thursday claiming a business owner had pulled a gun on them.


    July 25, 2014 1 Photo

House Ads
Seasonal Content
Section Teases
Must Read
Continuous Super Bowl Coverage