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Pain doc’s resentencing delayed

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Posted at 10:00 AM, Apr 16, 2014
and last updated 2014-04-16 12:00:11-04

SALT LAKE CITY — A court-ordered resentencing for a Brigham City pain doctor convicted of illegally prescribing millions of painkillers was delayed again while a federal judge considers the impact of a recent U.S. Supreme Court ruling.

Dr. Dewey MacKay was scheduled to be resentenced Tuesday after the 10th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals sent the case back to U.S. District Court Judge Dee Benson, saying aspects of the sentencing were not handled properly. But MacKay’s lawyer asked Benson to consider bucking the 10th U.S. Circuit Court in favor of a recent U.S. Supreme Court ruling that could give him less time.

MacKay was sentenced to 20-years in federal prison for prescribing painkillers — including some that resulted in a man’s death. At a hearing in federal court on Tuesday, supporters of Dr. MacKay packed the courtroom.

“I was here to support my friend, who we feel was wrongly convicted of drug charges,” said Jeff Keate.

Dr. MacKay’s attorney, Peter Stirba, argued that a recent U.S. Supreme Court ruling on drug cases should be applied.

“You can’t have a combination of proof that results in death,” Stirba told FOX 13 outside court. “You have to prove the individual drug you’re seeking to establish was the sole cause of death. This case was litigated initially at the trial court level by a combination, so that proof is not adequate under the United States Supreme Court decision.”Judge Benson declined to resentence Dr. MacKay on Tuesday until he had considered the high court’s decision.