The News Desk is a collection of news, notes and breaking items affecting the Fredericksburg community.
Judge orders three trials for doctor
The 95 felony charges against a Stafford County doctor will be split up over three jury trials, a judge decided Monday.
Mohanty, who was arrested in May, practiced internal medicine in North Stafford for 20 years and served as chief of medicine at Stafford Hospital. The state Board of Medicine suspended Mohanty’s license in April.
During her arraignment Monday in Stafford Circuit Court, Mohanty’s attorney, Peter Greenspun, requested a minimum of 28 separate jury trials. Commonwealth’s Attorney Eric Olsen wanted only a single trial for all 95 charges.
Judge Michael Levy decided to set three trials—one for the charges related to the drug overdose death of one of Mohanty’s patients, one involving the people she’s accused of illegally providing drugs to, and one involving drug distribution and insurance fraud.
Another hearing was set for Thursday to discuss dates and logistics for the trials, which are expected to last weeks.
Mohanty’s arrest followed a lengthy investigation that included a number of informants, including William Winfred Price, her former live-in boyfriend.
The manslaughter charge involved the death of King George resident Veronica Marie Wentzel, who was 41 when she died from a drug overdose on June 1, 2011.
Court records accuse Mohanty of repeatedly prescribing pain medication to Wentzel despite warning signs that the medication was being abused.
Mohanty is also accused in court records of operating a “pill mill,” committing tax fraud and providing pills to other patients she should not have.
Mohanty issued a statement prior to her arrest in which she asserted her innocence of all the allegations. She is currently free on bond.
Keith Epps: 540/374-5404