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Judge Rejects Former Simpson County Physician's Plea Agreement

A former Franklin doctor whose prescribing practices resulted in patient deaths will have to wait a while longer to learn his punishment. 

Roy Reynolds returned to federal court in Bowling Green Wednesday for sentencing after pleading guilty earlier this year to illegally prescribing pain and anti-anxiety medicine. 

According to the U.S. Attorney's Office for the Western District of Kentucky, two patients under Reynolds’ care died from drug overdoses.  One was a 46-year-old man with a history of illegal drug use and psychiatric issues.  Two days prior to his death, Dr. Reynolds prescribed him 180 Oxycodone pills and 90 Xanax tablets. 

Dr. Reynolds is also accused in the death of a 41-year-old man with a history of doctor shopping and drug and alcohol abuse.  An autopsy of his body showed Hydrocodone at 30 times the therapeutic concentration.

Reynolds’ plea agreement recommended a punishment ranging from three years probation to 24 months years in prison.

Prosecutors called Reynolds a "prolific prescriber," but stopped short of claiming he ran a pill mill out of his medical office.

U.S. District Judge Greg Stivers rejected the plea, feeling it was too lenient. 

Citing a Kentucky All Schedule Prescription Electronic Reporting system, or KASPER, report, Stivers said Reynolds was in the top one percent of all physicians in Kentucky for prescribing pain killers.

"Frankly, that does sound like a pill mill," stated Stivers.

Judge Stivers scheduled a December 6 meeting with attorneys from both sides to determine whether Dr. Reynolds will withdraw his plea and have a jury trial or move forward with sentencing.

Lisa is a Scottsville native and WKU alum. She has worked in radio as a news reporter and anchor for 18 years. Prior to joining WKU Public Radio, she most recently worked at WHAS in Louisville and WLAC in Nashville. She has received numerous awards from the Associated Press, including Best Reporter in Kentucky. Many of her stories have been heard on NPR.
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