Expert witnesses take stand Tuesday - Cincinnati News, FOX19-WXIX TV

Expert witnesses take stand Tuesday

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By Brad Underwood - bio | email
Posted by Trina Edwards - email

HAMILTON, OH (FOX19) - Three expert witness took the stand Tuesday in the trial of Dr. Mark Blankenburg.

The prosecution is nearing the finish of its case against the Butler County pediatrician, who is facing 41 counts of sex and drug charges.

On Monday, Judge Keith Spaeth announced he thought closing arguments could start and Wednesday or Thursday of this week, and there may be a verdict by the end of the week.

On Tuesday, expert testimony from the medical field focused on the drug side of the trial. All drug charges the doctor is facing will decided by Judge Spaeth and not the jury. The 12-member jury will only rule on the sex charges in this case.

The first witness, Dr. Lauren Marinetti, a forensic toxicologist from Dayton, Ohio, testified on how drugs affect the human body, the addictive nature, and the withdrawal process. Dr. Blankenburg is alleged to have provided drugs to alleged victims to keep them quiet.

The second expert witness, an investigator with the prosecutor's office, investigates health care fraud cases and the improper dispersion of prescription drugs. Dr. Robert Mortemer testified to the amounts of drugs the doctor allegedly prescribed to the alleged victims to keep them quiet from revealing what they say went on inside the offices. Dr. Mortemer said that prescriptions being written were five times the bulk amount being prescribed.

The third and final expert witness of the day, William Schmidt, is a senior council investigator with the State Medical Board of Ohio. He has been with the board since 1978, and is involved with investigating the prescription writing process by Ohio doctors.

He testified about the laundry list of grounds for discipline of doctors who break the rules the board has in place.

Prosecutors have told FOX19's Brad Underwood that Blankenburg may take the stand Tuesday afternoon for the defense. The concern is that he may object to having his testimony recorded by the media. However, Judge Spaeth says as the defendant, that is a right he doesn't have.

Stay with FOX19.com for the very latest from inside the courtroom.

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