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Defense Counsel Asks Judge to Order US Attorney to Remove Press Release from Website

Posted Dec 22, 2011 4:33 PM CDT
By Martha Neil

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Defense counsel for an Alabama pharmacy owner facing criminal charges for allegedly violating Medicaid rules have taken the unusual tack of asking a federal judge in Mobile to order the U.S. Attorney's office to take down an online press release.

In the Internet age, such publicity threatens Chris Vernon's right to a fair trial, contends his lawyer, Dennis Knizley. Vernon is accused of paying kickbacks to encourage more medication purchases, the Press-Register reports.

“The press release is inflammatory, one-sided and omits important facts, and for that reason threatens to instill unfair prejudice, confuse the issues and mislead the jury,“ the defense filing states.

The U.S. Attorney's office says it will respond to the filing in due course.

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