from the Delaware Circuit Court The Honorable Linda Ralu
Wolf, Judge Trial Court Cause No. 18C03-1501-F6-1
ATTORNEY FOR APPELLANT Stacy R. Uliana Bargersville, Indiana
ATTORNEYS FOR APPELLEE Curtis T. Hill, Jr. Attorney General
of Indiana Samuel J. Dayton Deputy Attorney General
OF THE CASE
Appellant-Defendant, William Hedrick, M.D., (Hedrick),
appeals his conviction for three Counts of forgery, Level 6
felonies, Ind. Code § 35-43-5-2(d), and three Counts of
registration offense, Level 6 felonies, I.C. §
Hedrick presents four issues on appeal, which we consolidate
and restate as the following three issues:
(1) Whether the trial court erred by admitting certain
(2) Whether the State presented sufficient evidence beyond a
reasonable doubt to support Hedrick's convictions; and
(3) Whether the three forgery convictions violate the
continuous crime doctrine.
AND PROCEDURAL HISTORY
Hedrick is a licensed physician in the state of Indiana. He
is also certified by the American Board of Pain Medicine in
physical medicine and rehabilitation. In 2008, Hedrick
established his own medical practice, where he specialized in
pain management, and had several offices, including one in
Muncie, Indiana. As his practice grew, Hedrick networked with
other doctors. At its peak, Hedrick's practice had 250
employees and sixteen medical providers, including doctors
and nurse practitioners.
On February 28, 2013, and March 28, 2013, the Indiana Medical
Licensing Board (the Board), held a hearing concerning a
disciplinary complaint filed against Hedrick. On April 2,
2013, the Board issued a detailed Order that found three
violations of Indiana Code section 25-1-9-4. Specifically,
the Board concluded that Hedrick had violated: (1) I.C.
§ 25-1-9-4(a)(4)(A)(ii) when he failed to keep abreast
with current practices when he administered steroid
injections beyond what has been deemed medically acceptable;
(2) I.C. § 25-1-9-4(a)(4)(B) when he failed to apply
current theories of appropriate pain management to the
treatment of his patients; and (3) I.C. 25-1-9-4(a)(4)(B)
when he failed to adequately supervise his nurses and
physician assistants. Because of these violations, the Board
placed Hedrick's medical license on indefinite probation,
and it established a list of terms and conditions that
included monthly reporting, continuing training, and a fine.
A medical practitioner who holds a registration number issued
by the United States Department of Justice, Drug Enforcement
Administration (DEA), and a Controlled Substance Registration
license issued by the state of Indiana, may prescribe
"Schedule II through V drugs" to patients.
(Transcript Vol. II, p. 204).
In October 2013, Anita Doctor (Doctor), a nurse practitioner,
began working at Hedrick's practice. Doctor primarily saw
patients for pain management treatment, including
"prescribing opioid pain medication." (Tr. Vol. II,
p. 206). In mid-November 2013, Doctor witnessed two other
nurse practitioners writing prescriptions for patients seen
by Hedrick, but whom they had not seen themselves. Before
leaving Hedrick's practice in April 2014, Doctor had
observed several instances where patients were receiving
opioids without going through a substance-abuse screening
procedure. She also noted that several patients
"receiv[ed] more than 60 morphine equivalents a
day," which under Indiana and federal guidelines,
requires close monitoring of the patient. (Tr. Vol. II, p.
211). When Doctor attempted to wean those patients from the
pain medication by prescribing muscle relaxers or nerve
medications, those patients would try to see another nurse
practitioner. Doctor also witnessed a nurse practitioner sign
a prescription and hand it to Hedrick, who then gave it to a
patient. When Doctor inquired about that anomaly, she learned
that Blue Cross Blue Shield insurance company would not
reimburse patients seen or treated by Hedrick. The practice
also posted a list of all the insurance companies that would
not reimburse Hedrick.
After Doctor left Hedrick's practice, Doctor learned that
employees from Hedrick's practice continued to use her
name and DEA registration number to prescribe controlled
substances. Specifically, on May 1, 2014, someone other than
Doctor signed two prescriptions, one for Morphine and one for
Percocet; on May 8, 2014, someone other than Doctor signed a
prescription for Morphine that listed Doctor's
credentials; and on November 26, 2014, someone other than
Doctor called in a prescription for Tramadol at Walgreens.
In November 2013, Elisabeth Buchanan (Buchanan), a nurse
practitioner, began working at Hedrick's practice. Each
week, she operated as a nurse for four days, and for the
remaining day, she was the chief operating officer. In
December 2013, Buchanan learned that Hedrick's practice
was in financial trouble. For instance, Buchanan learned that
Fifth Third Bank was considering calling a note due, and that
Hedrick had hired a consulting firm to look at the
practice's financial books so as to improve the stability
of the organization. The consulting firm sent an email to
Hedrick's staff stating that the practices of the chief
finance officer, Greg Lutz (Lutz), should be lauded since he
had renegotiated monthly payments to American Express down to
$5, 000 a month from $25, 000. In January 2014, Buchanan
indicated to Hedrick that she wanted to resign, but she later
changed her mind.
On August 26, 2014, at approximately 8:00 a.m., Buchanan sent
an email to Hedrick and a few other staff members, expressing
concern that other people were using her "DEA# . . . for
numerous prescriptions  both scheduled and
unscheduled," drugs that she had not specifically
prescribed. (State's Exh. Vol. II, p. 175). Buchanan also
raised a concern that one patient who had a history of mental
illness and whom she had seen on June 14, 2014, had
thereafter been seen by two other nurses in a span of five
weeks and had been prescribed a total of "330
oxycodone." (State's Exh. Vol. II, p. 176). When
Buchanan received no response to her email, at around 10:00
a.m., she wrote to the entire clinical staff and stated
I just wanted to take a moment and ask that everyone PLEASE
check the prescription for which you are signing and make
sure they are yours.
I have had over [fifteen] patients alone in the last week
that were not or have ever been seen by me or prescribed
medications by me; however, they are ending up on
INSPECT or in the computer that I have prescribed
medications to them. Some have shown [two] providers have
wrote [sic] scripts on the same day. I am not sure if it is a
computer issue or what; but if you could please double check
as you sign them, or they are printed it would be
(State's Exh. Vol. II, p. 177). When Hedrick did finally
respond to Buchanan's emails, he told her that the
situation was due to a flaw with the INSPECT program. The
following day, Buchanan resigned. On September 9, 2014, which
was after Buchanan left Hedrick's practice, someone other
than Buchanan signed a prescription for Percocet that listed
Buchanan's name and Buchanan's DEA registration
number. Buchanan was in Texas on that date.
In the Fall of 2014, Hedrick was the target of a criminal
investigation by the DEA after local pharmacies in Muncie
reported Hedrick's practice. Specifically, the pharmacies
informed the DEA that the total volume of "controlled
substance prescriptions being prescribed out of
[Hedrick's] . . . medical practice" was alarming.
(Tr. Vol. II, p. 128). The pharmacies indicated that
Hedrick's clinic was prescribing "dangerous
combinations of controlled substances," i.e.,
"narcotics . . . with anti-depressant." (Tr. Vol.
II, p. 128). Some other pharmacies had altogether stopped
filling prescriptions from Hedrick and his practice.
Following those complaints, the DEA conducted surveillance of
Hedrick's practice in Muncie in August and October of
On September 2, 2014, Hedrick's chief financial officer,
Lutz, sent a message to Hedrick stating, "To make
payroll, I will need 60k. To pay all critical vendors I will
need additional 20k." (State's Exh. Vol. II, p.
186). Over a series of several texts, Hedrick wrote back
stating, "Wow! . . . Need to do some extreme stuff to
stop this . . . Need to meet with you tomorrow night . . .
Have to stop the hemorrhaging now . . . Can't spend more
than we have . . . We have a crisis." (State's Exh.
Vol. II, p. 186). The following day, Lutz and Hedrick
exchanged several text messages, and Hedrick angrily wrote
This isn[']t about you. This is about survival of the
company and vital nature of cash flow. Several heads are
better than one. We might have to renegotiate payment plans.
Might have to stop paying American [E]xpress. Might try
breaking up payments to others. Can [sic] afford to pay that
much in one week. May have to not pay lawyers.
(State's Exh. Vol. II, p. 187).
That same month, the DEA interviewed three nurse
practitioners from Hedrick's practice. They included Gay
Watson (Watson), Susan Adam-Hayes (Adam-Hayes), and Sarah
Nevil (Nevil). The nurses thereafter surrendered their
respective DEA registration numbers. Despite the fact that
Watson had surrendered her DEA registration number, Hedrick
used it to issue the following prescriptions: (1) on October
2, 2014, two prescriptions, one for 120 ...