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July 3, 2014

Wagoner Clinic doctor led away in cuffs

Judge sentences Wagoner to 2 years in prison, 8 years in-home detention and 20 years probation

KOKOMO — Don Wagoner, the former Wagoner Medical Clinic doctor convicted of over-prescribing prescription drugs, was led away in handcuffs Wednesday to begin serving a two-year prison sentence.

Wagoner, 78, plead guilty to eight of the 20 felony charges he faced as part of a recommended plea bargain filed May 28. He had operated a Burlington medical clinic in addition to his Kokomo practice.

The plea, which Howard Superior Court 1 Judge William Menges accepted, called for Wagoner to be sentenced to 30 years with two years in prison, eight years of in-home detention and 20 years on probation on each of two Class A felony dealing in a narcotic drug charges. He also was sentenced to 10 years each on five Class B felony dealing charges. Menges ordered the sentences to run concurrently.

As part of the plea, Menges ordered Wagoner’s medical license be revoked and said he could not practice medicine in the United States ever again.

Several supporters and detractors of Wagoner filled the courtroom for the hearing. No witnesses were called during the brief hearing. Menges read the accepted plea and sentence and then ordered a bailiff to take Wagoner into custody.

Several people in the standing-room only courtroom clapped when deputies led Wagoner away in handcuffs.

Dustin Noonkester, whose 19-year-old son Brady overdosed on methadone he obtained from a patient of Wagoner’s, was upset over what he called an injustice.

“It gave us great pleasure in seeing him get handcuffed,” Noonkester said outside the courtroom.

Noonkester and his wife, Jennifer, established Brady’s Hope to bring awareness to prescription drug abuse.

“We’re not happy with the amount of prison time. But we are pleased he cannot be a doctor ever again.”

Noonkester said he hopes this will open the door for future lawsuits against doctors like Wagoner.

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