Here’s the short version of what happened today at a court hearing for a New River Valley doctor. For more details, check out roanoke.com or the print edition tomorrow.
One week before she goes to trial on charges of illegally prescribing pain medication, Dr. Linda Sue Cheek has already begun her defense.
“Hopefully this will mark the beginning of the end for government persecution of doctors treating pain,” Cheek wrote about the charges against her in a recent post to her website.
“Treating doctors like they are Columbian [sic] drug lords has got to stop,” wrote Cheek, whose license as a New River Valley pain management doctor is currently suspended.
On Monday, prosecutors asked a judge to bar Cheek from blogging, tweeting or engaging in other forms of internet communication about the case, arguing that her over-the-top posts could influence potential jurors.
U.S. District Court Judge Glen Conrad declined to issue such a ruling.
“It would be wrong for the court to say she forfeits her First Amendment rights when she becomes a defendant,” Conrad said.
Cheek is facing a 173-count indictment that charges her with illegally prescribing drugs at New River Medical Associates, a pain management practice she ran in Dublin.