HUNTSVILLE, Ala. (WAFF) - A Madison County doctor has entered a guilty plea before a jury was able to deliver a verdict in her trial.
Dr. Celia Lloyd-Turney walked out of court moments after pleading guilty to one of 15 charges of over-prescribing pain pills to her patients at Choice Medicine. The doctor must now surrender her medical license and never participate in any health care program.
The trial lasted more than 10 days before coming to a sudden halt. Throughout the trial, her attorneys acknowledged she violated federal drug laws but also arguing Lloyd-Turney believed she was acting in her patient’s best interest.
Those attorneys refused to speak to WAFF 48 News Friday but were adamant when the trial began the doctor was innocent. “Dr Turney is a compassionate physician who spend 30 years serving the people of this community,” said defense attorney Erica Barnes.
The judge thanked the jury for their time and patience during this trial and then sent them on their way.
Friends stood behind the doctor in support. Former Choice Medicine nurse, Rebecca Graham who testified in court, said Lloyd-Turney didn’t deserve this and she is a great doctor.
“It has been very emotional. Seeing her be put through what she has been put through, her life being torn upside down and inside out.”
Lloyd-Turney will be back in court in June for sentencing. She faces up to 20 years in federal prison and/or a $1,000,000 fine.
The jury entered its third day of deliberations on Friday when her guilty plea was announced.
Federal prosecutors alleged Lloyd-Turney illegally gave opioids to patients 15 different times. She faced charges for each incident. The details of the plea agreement have not been made public at this time.
Lloyd-Turney operated the Choice Medicine clinic in Madison County.
Lloyd-Turney admitted in a 2017 consent agreement to the Alabama Medical Board she excessively prescribed controlled substances. However, she told the jury in her trial she didn’t necessarily agree to what she signed but said she signed at the recommendation of her lawyers.