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Jun 01st
Home Sections Health and Medicine Convicted Filipino-American Doctor to Have His Day in Georgia Supreme Court
Convicted Filipino-American Doctor to Have His Day in Georgia Supreme Court PDF Print E-mail
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Sections - Health and Medicine
Wednesday, 29 December 2010 09:41



Journal Group Link International)


The Physician’s Lawyer Will Argue on Appeal that the Felony Murder Conviction Was Not Backed Up by Sufficient Evidence But He Was Only Convicted of Prescribing Illegal Drugs Except Morphine

C HICAGO (jGLi) – Filipino American Dr. Noel Natividad Chua will get an opportunity to appeal his sentence for life “plus five years” for his conviction for felony murder and seven other counts for violation of Georgia Controlled Substance Act when oral argument of his case will be up before the Supreme Court of Georgia in Atlanta on Jan. 24 of the New Year.


Mr. Chua, a doctor in internal medicine, will be represented by his private defense lawyer Donald F. Samuel of Atlanta, who will likely re-argue that “there is no sufficient evidence to support Chua’s felony murder conviction because he was only convicted of the underlying distributions of Methadone and Oxycodone and found not guilty of distributing the Morphine,” which contributed to the death of his live-in, teen-aged male employee, five years ago in his home in the seaside city of St. Marys, Camden County, Georgia.


Dr. Chua, 48, will also argue that the death of James Bazley Carter, III, who was a 19-year-old college student at that time, was the “victim’s own fault, because the Appellant could not have known that the victim would take the drugs in the manner that he did.”


In an e-mail to a Fil Am columnist, Dr. Chua said that he "warned Carter never to mix his prescriptions with any other drugs.” In addition, he said that the autopsy report showed “evidence of sudden intense elevation of pressure in his head similar to something seen on people who were strangled.”


Chua, a graduate of Far Eastern University in Manila, Philippines, will also argue that the “trial court erred by failing to stress that the State had the burden of disproving good faith beyond reasonable doubt.”


Particulars of the Case


C arter was found dead in an apparent drug overdose in the bathroom of the home of Dr. Chua in St. Marys on Dec. 15, 2005.


After a nine-month investigation, a Camden county grand jury returned an indictment, accusing Chua of count one felony murder and 17 counts of violation of Georgia Controlled Substances Act, all stemming from Chua’s position as physician who prescribed various controlled substances to the victim. A warrant was issued for his arrest.


After an October 9-20, 2007, jury trial, Chua was found guilty of eight out of the 17 counts of indictments. He was found guilty of count one, felony murder; three counts (Counts Two, 16 and 17) for prescribing Methadone; Count Two for prescribing Oxycodone; Count 13 for prescribing Oxycotin; Count 14, prescribing Percocet; and Count Three for knowingly keeping a dwelling place in violation of Georgia Controlled Substances Act.


He was found innocent of nine counts for prescribing four counts for Demerol; two counts for Morphines, and one count each for hydrocodone, Loritab, Stadol Nasal Spray, Duragesic Patch, MS Contin and Clonazepam.


A toxicologist described Carter’s death as “multi-drug intoxication.”


Prescriptions written by Chua could be associated with most every substance found in Carter’s blood. The victim’s blood had a level of Morphine prescribed Nov. 15, 2005, by Chua for 30 pills of MS Contin; Oxycodone prescribed on the same day for 60 pills of Oxycontin and 30 pills of Percocet; and Methadone prescribed on Dec. 9, 2005, for 60 pills of Methadone and additional 30 pills of Methadone on Dec. 12, 2005, three days before Carter’s death.


Jury also determined that “many drugs found either by themselves or in combination caused pulmonary edema, edema of the brain, lack of oxygen and death due to central nervous system depression.”


A toxicologist testified that “Methadone alone was sufficient to have caused the victim’s death” when its blood level had a concentration of 290 nanograms per milliliter. This came from the 60 pills of Methadone prescribed by Chua on Dec. 9, 2005, and an additional 30 pills of Methadone on Dec. 12, 2005, to Carter.


The jury convicted Chua “with distributing two of the substances found in the lethal combination – Oxycodone and Methadone.”


During the trial, physicians, as well as state medical board, testified that “it is unethical and improper for a doctor to distribute controlled substances to a spouse or any person with whom the doctor has an intimate relationship because the doctor will not act objectively in the patient’s best interest. It is also unethical and improper for a doctor to distribute controlled substance to a patient whom he knows to be addicted.”


A 16-year-old boy was allowed to testify, saying that he was Chua’s neighbor in Pennsylvania in 2004 while Chua was around 42. When Chua moved to Camden County, Chua contacted him and invited him to “Shadow” at his medical practice that summer. His parents wanted him to be a doctor. He flew down for two summers. In 2004, they engaged in sexual relations.


When Chua hospitalized Carter on two different occasions, without his parents’ knowledge, Chua administered intravenous Morphine and Demerol.


Chua first met Carter, a college student, as a patient on Sept. 22, 2005.  He initiated cell-phone and text-message contact with Carter the following day. Chua invited Carter to live with him in his house around Oct. 31, 2005 and offered him a job in his medical office, scrubs to wear and took him on rounds with him at the hospital.


They played tennis and he took Carter to social gatherings, traveled to Carter’s parents house for Thanksgiving dinner. Chua took Carter to New York but tested Carter with HIV without Carter’s consent in violation of law prior to their New York trip.


Carter was first diagnosed with depression, anxiety and substance abuse.


Carter’s sister became suspicious when she came home and found Chua lying away and clothed in her brother’s bed with him while Carter slept on Nov. 24th Thanksgiving Day. # # #


Editor’s Note: To contact the author, please e-mail him at:  (


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Last Updated on Tuesday, 08 March 2011 11:48

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