Deliberations to resume today in Perry doctor trial

Jurors are expected to resume deliberations this morning in the trial of suspended Perry physician Spurgeon Green Jr., accused of wrongfully prescribing medications that led to the death of more than a dozen patients.

The jury recessed Thursday afternoon without a verdict after a third full day of deliberations. Jurors also met about 20 minutes Monday after hearing closing arguments from government and defense attorneys.

Green, physician’s assistant Dorothy Mack and pharmacist Jack Joseph are accused of conspiring to distribute drugs “not for a legitimate medical purpose and outside the usual course of professional practice” from January 2000 through July 2003. The three are on trial in federal court in Macon.

In all, 14 patients under Green’s care died during a period of one year and four months. Green is accused of prescribing medications that led to the death of seven people and serious bodily injury to six others, who also died. The other patient death is related to the general conspiracy and not included in the death or serious bodily injury charges, prosecutor Jennifer Kolman told jurors.

Mack is implicated in three of the death charges and two of the serious bodily injury charges, while Joseph is implicated in four of the death charges.

Jurors asked Thursday afternoon about federal code sections related to the indictment. But U.S. District Judge C. Ashley Royal instructed jurors that the relevant code sections are in the charges to the jury — which jurors had in the jury room.

The judge also indicated from the bench, while the jury was behind closed doors, that he may ask them if they’d like to continue deliberations Saturday if they do not reach a verdict today. Charles E. Cox, a Macon attorney representing Joseph, told the judge that Joseph is a Seventh Day Adventist and would prefer that court was not held Saturday. The judge said Joseph did not have to be present Saturday but also indicated that he would consider Joseph’s request. The judge also noted that jurors may prefer not to deliberate Saturday. The trial is now in its sixth week.