Accused Waveland pill mill doctor asks to be released from jail - WLOX.com - The News for South Mississippi

Accused Waveland pill mill doctor asks to be released from jail

The federal indictment accused Dr. Steve Morris, Nurse Peggy Laporte and Nurse Technician Brittany Spikes of conspiracy to possess, distribute and dispense a controlled substance outside of the scope of a professional practice. (Photo source: WLOX) The federal indictment accused Dr. Steve Morris, Nurse Peggy Laporte and Nurse Technician Brittany Spikes of conspiracy to possess, distribute and dispense a controlled substance outside of the scope of a professional practice. (Photo source: WLOX)
WAVELAND, MS (WLOX) -

A doctor accused of running an illegal pill mill in Waveland is asking a judge to let him out of jail.

Dr. Steve Morris's attorneys filed a motion Monday to ask a federal judge to reverse his decision and allow him to have bond. They claim Morris has been "needlessly detained."

Morris is facing 56 charges of selling, distributing or dispensing a controlled substance and one count of conspiracy to distribute a controlled substance. If convicted on all charges Morris faces more than 500 years in prison.

Two weeks ago a judge ruled there were several reasons no condition of bond would assure Morris would appear in court and the safety of the community. Among the reasons the judge said Morris's family lives in Thailand and he was scheduled to visit this summer. The judge also noted Morris refused to give urine samples twice for a drug screening and he was under some sort of psychiatric treatment.

Morris's attorneys filed a five page response to the judge's concerns. They said Morris's wife and six-year-old daughter in Thailand rely on his income to live. Morris not only ran a pain clinic in Waveland several days a month, he worked as an emergency room physician at a San Carlos, Arizona Hospital and taught at the University of South Florida College of Nursing in Tampa, Florida prior to being arrested. Dr. Morris resided in Florida and had no prior criminal history.

Morris's visits Thailand twice a year for a week usually in July and December. His attorneys said Morris planned a trip to Thailand this month with the intention of bringing his wife back to the U.S. Since his passport was seized by the DEA Morris's attorneys said he would not be traveling.

They also went into detail about the reason Morris was under psychiatric care. Morris was required to see a psychiatrist on two occasions by the Mississippi Medical Board after he performed an in-clinic breast augmentation and prescribed certain medications to weight loss patients. A Jackson doctor who saw Morris said he did not have any mental illness.

Morris's attorneys also addressed their clients alleged refusal to give a urine sample two times. They said it was because Morris could not urinate prior to his arraignment and detention hearing. After Morris's last court hearing his attorneys said he provided a urine sample to the US Marshals.

If a judge would like Morris to testify at an evidentiary hearing his attorneys said he would. They also told the judge they have requested medical records for the psychiatrist and would provide more details about Morris's visits. If allowed bond they also agreed Morris would be able to limit his travel to Mississippi, Arizona and Florida.

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