By Mike Fletcher
Tribune crime reporter
Motions for a change of venue were filed last week for the trial of Wagoner Clinic owners charged in a drug investigation.
Attorneys for Dr. Don Wagoner and his wife, Dr. Marilyn Wagoner, are seeking to have their cases moved out of Howard County saying that due to the media attention, their clients would not get a fair trial.
The Wagoners face a total of 39 felony counts stemming from an ongoing investigation by city, state and federal authorities alleging the clinic and its employees overprescribed narcotic pain pills to several patients. Charges range from a Class A felony dealing in a controlled substance to a Class B felony conspiracy to deal narcotics.
Seven others also charged in the investigation have not filed change of venue motions.
Howard Superior Court 1 Judge William Menges will hear arguments May 31 on the motions.
All nine charged have a July 26 jury trial and July 11 pretrial hearing set in their cases.
Police arrested the doctors along with their seven members of their staff April 19 following Howard County Prosecutor Mark McCann filed a total of 95 felony drug charges against the nine Wagoner employees.
All nine have posted bail and were released from jail pending the outcome of the cases. As a condition of bond, the nine agreed to stop prescribing controlled substances until the case is resolved.
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