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Oct 23rd
Home Sections Health and Medicine Drug Overdose Not the Fault of Fil-Am Doctor, Says his Lawyer
Drug Overdose Not the Fault of Fil-Am Doctor, Says his Lawyer PDF Print E-mail
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Sections - Health and Medicine
Tuesday, 08 March 2011 11:41

 

By JOSEPH G. LARIOSA

Journal Group Link International)

 

The Lawyer of Convicted Fil-Am Doctor Argues Before the Georgia State Supreme Court for Reversal of Conviction

 

C HICAGO (jGLi) – When James Bazley Carter, III, was found dead in his bathroom more than five years ago, he overdosed on drugs without the “knowledge and assistance” of his host, Filipino-American Dr. Noel Natividad Chua.

 

Donald F. Samuel, Chua’s private defense attorney, told the State Supreme Court of Georgia in Atlanta Monday (March 7) that when police summoned by Chua arrived after Chua discovered the body of Carter, police saw Carter “holding pills in his hands prescribed by other doctors and from other patients. While one of the pills was Oxycodone, this was not part of Dr. Chua’s prescription. He must have taken these pills over the course of many months.”

 

Atty. Samuel painted the 19-year-old Carter as someone who had been trying to end his “suffering from severe headache and pain since he was ten years old. Although, there was methadone that was prescribed by Dr. Chua as among those pills found in his bedroom, it was in proper dosage.”

 

Mr. Samuel vigorously argued in the course of a 40-minute oral argument that Dr. Chua had no motive to murder his boarder by prescribing him lethal dosages of medications as suggested by state prosecutors led by Brunswick Judicial Circuit District Attorney Jacqueline Johnson. Dr. Chua was not present in the courtroom during the oral argument.

 

Mr. Samuel, a prominent Atlanta lawyer, is appealing Chua’s life sentence “plus five years” for his conviction for felony murder and seven other counts for violation of Georgia Controlled Substance Act.

 

“Oxicodone in the house did not come from Dr. Chua, see page 2391 of record. Hydrocodone did not come from Dr. Chua, see page 2036. No oxycodone was found in the house,” Samuel repeated.

 

For her part Attorney Johnson told the court that this case “’is not about a doctor-and-patient relationship but a drug supplier out to create and foster relationship. In Georgia, if you supply for legitimate (medication), it is a default prescription when you prescribe medicine in normal and legitimate’ dosage. The state has a huge burden if we hold a doctor as a supplier of drugs to commit a felony murder case to a lesser standard.”

 

She said when Carter, “a 19-year-old college student, went to see Dr. Chua on Sept. 22, 2005, Dr. Chua followed this up by phone and text messages to a point that he moved around Halloween of 2005 to Chua’s home and isolated him from his family and even attended a party with somebody other than (Carter’s) family.

 

“Every substance, Demerol, morphine, methadone and two others were contributing factors to his death. Two others were from prescriptions of Dr. Chua.”

 

Atty. Johnson added that it was a “question of frequency and amount of medication that led up to the cause of death. It is a felony murder when he (Dr. Chua) distributed inherently dangerous amount outside the normal course of practice, creating physical dependence in the body.

 

“Knowledge is criminal. If James was not living with Dr. Chua, he (James) would be walking on the street and Dr. Chua would not be able to pin” him down.

 

Atty. Samuel said Dr. Chua could not have lured children for sex, saying that Carter, as a 19-year-old college student, was not a minor. And in the case of a 15-year-old boy, Dr. Chua refused to have sex with the boy.

 

Jane Hansen, public-information officer of the Supreme Court of the State of Georgia, said the ruling on the case would be handed down starting from one up to six months.

 

She said Superior Court Judge Daniel J. Craig of Augusta Circuit was designated to replace the most junior member of the court, Justice David E. Nahmias, former co-editor of the Harvard Law School along with President Barack Obama. Justice Nahmias inhibited himself from the case. Justice Nahmias had familiarity with Chua’s case in his capacity as former United States Attorney in Atlanta from Dec. 2004 until his appointment to the Supreme Court of Georgia as Justice on Aug. 13, 2009.

 

T he other members of the court were Presiding Justice George H. Carley, Associate Justices Robert Benham, Hugh P. Thomson, P. Harris Hines and Harold D. Melton.

 

Mr. Chua, a doctor in general medical practice, was found guilty by jury of “underlying distributions of Methadone and Oxycodone and 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 on Dec. 15, 2005.

 

Dr. Chua, 48, a graduate of Far Eastern University’s College of Medicine in the Philippines, was indicted by a grand jury of one count felony murder and 16 counts of violation of Georgia Controlled Substances Act, all stemming from Mr. Chua’s position as physician who prescribed various controlled substances to the victim, after a nine-month investigation.

 

After an Oct. 9-20, 2007, jury trial, Dr. 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. (lariosa_jos@sbcglobal.net) # # #

  

Editor’s Note: To contact the author, please e-mail him at:  (lariosa_jos@sbcglobal.net)

 



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Last Updated on Saturday, 21 April 2012 17:09
 

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