Tuesday, February 7, 2017

Judge Denies Cadden Motion on Key Phone Call

By Walter F. Roche Jr.

The judge presiding over the second degree murder trial of a former drug compounding executive has swiftly rejected a motion to strike from the record the testimony of a key prosecution witness.
In a one page order issued today U.S. District Judge Richard G. Stearns denied a motion to strike from the record the testimony of an official from an Indiana clinic who told jurors that Barry Cadden called her on  Sept. 21, 2012 to let her know there might be a problem with steroids shipped from his company, the New England Compounding Center.
Wendy Huffman testified that the call was made five days before NECC initiated a voluntary nationwide recall of over 10,000 vials of methylprednisolone acetate.
Stearns said "whether Ms. Huffman is mistaken in her recollection of the day of her September 2012 conversation with the defendant is a matter of (hotly) disputed fact that the jury can decide.
Attorneys for Cadden, who is on trial on racketeering and second degree murder charges, had cited telephone records showing the only call to the Indiana clinic on that date from NECC's area code came from a woman making an appointment for a friend.
Cadden's lawyers said Huffman's testimony was highly prejudicial and could leave jurors with the impression that Cadden was a "cold blooded killer" by letting additional patients get injected with a tainted drugs for another five days.
They charged that prosecutors knew or should have known that Huffman's testimony was false.
Stearns, however, said the defense could present its evidence to the jury so that they could decide.
"While the court recognizes that the evidence is conflicting, it is not prepared to draw an inference of bad faith on the part of the government from an adversarial disagreement over the interpretation of facts or the credibility of witness testimony."
Stearns also rejected the request by Cadden's lawyers that prosecutors be required to report to defense lawyers on their routine meetings with witnesses prior to testimony.
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