Friday, October 23, 2015
Cases Severed in Meningitis Criminal Cases
By Walter F. Roche Jr.
The cases of two of the defendants in the criminal investigation of the New England Compounding Center have been split off from the remaining 12 and they will be tried separately.
U.S. District Judge Richard G. Stearns Wednesday granted the motion filed by the attorney for Carla and Douglas Conigliaro for the two to be tried separately.
A third defendant, Kathy Chin, also has filed a motion for a separate trial but that motion has yet to be acted on.
The three were among 14 owners and former employees of NECC indicted late last year on charges ranging from mail fraud to second degree murder as a result of the grand jury probe of the deadly 2012 fungal meningitis outbreak that killed some 76 patients across the country.
At a recent hearing in Boston, Mass. Stearns also indicated that he may split off two other cases. Those are the charges against Barry Cadden, an owner of NECC, and Glenn Chin, NECC's chief pharmacist and Kathy Chin's husband. The two are facing 25 counts of second degree murder, among other lesser charges.
David Meier, the lawyer for Douglas and Carla Conigliaro, said his clients' cases are now "formally and legally separated from the other 12 NECC defendants."
The two are charged with making a series of illegal withdrawals from bank accounts that were frozen under a court order.
NECC shipped fungus tainted spinal steroids to health care providers across the country who then injected the drugs into the spines and joints of unsuspecting patients.