By Walter F. Roche Jr.
Two of the defendants charged in a 73-page federal indictment with second degree murder entered not guilty pleas Thursday in U.S. District Court in Boston, Mass.
The pleas were entered by Barry Cadden, one of the owners of the now defunct New England Compounding Center, and Glenn Chin, NECC's one time chief pharmacist.
The two were arrested Wednesday and remain in a federal lockup while a judge decides whether they can be released on home detention, bail or a combination of both.
The two were among 14 indicted by a federal grand jury this week following a two-year federal investigation of a national fungal meningitis outbreak that killed 64 people and sickened 751. State and federal regulators blamed the 2012 outbreak on fungus tainted steroids shipped by NECC to health facilities across the country.
In the indictment Cadden, Chin and 12 other owners and employees of NECC were charged with conspiracy, racketeering and multiple violations of state and federal statutes and regulations setting sterility requirements for drugs injected into the human body.
NECC shut down shortly after the outbreak became public. Dozens of civil lawsuits filed by victims of the outbreak and their survivors are now pending before a federal judge. A proposed settlement of a related bankruptcy case is scheduled for a Feb. 24 hearing.