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Feds ask judge to reconsider sentence for pain doctor

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Posted at 9:54 AM, May 13, 2014
and last updated 2014-05-13 11:54:10-04

SALT LAKE CITY — The U.S. Attorney’s Office for Utah is asking a federal judge to reconsider the sentence he gave a Brigham City doctor convicted of illegally prescribing millions of pain pills.

In a decision handed down last week, U.S. District Court Judge Dee Benson lopped 17 years off of Dr. Dewey MacKay’s sentence. The judge gave Dr. MacKay a 3 year sentence with credit for time served.

In a motion filed late Monday, the U.S. Attorney’s Office asked the judge to reconsider. Government attorneys argued that the judge surprised them at the hearing, which was to consider a sentence as instructed by the 10th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals.

“Because of the oral argument addressed only the scope of the remand based on the Tenth Circuit’s mandate, it was reasonable to assume that the actual sentence on the remaining counts would be considered and imposed at a separate sentencing hearing,” assistant U.S. Attorney Michael Kennedy wrote. “Such a process would have been in conformity with proper procedure.”

Defense attorneys asked Judge Benson to break with the federal appeals court, citing a recent U.S. Supreme Court ruling about drug cases. Dr. MacKay was convicted on charges related to prescribing millions of pain pills. Federal prosecutors alleged that some of those pills resulted in a man’s death.