Thursday, January 5, 2017

State Files to Dismiss in Case Against Roland Doctors


The state has filed motions to dismiss in the cases against four doctors associated with the Wellness Clinic in Roland.

Bernard M. Tougas, 44, of Fort Smith, Ronald V. Myers, 60, of Belzoni, Miss., John C. Friedl, 59, of Jenks, and George B. Howell, 80, of Wichita, Kan., were all charged in 2016 with various counts in Sequoyah County District Court, Sallisaw.

In a hearing Dec. 14 in Sequoyah County District Court, State Attorney General Scott Pruitt asked the case against Tougas be dismissed. Tougas was charged with racketeering, first-degree murder, second-degree murder, two counts of unlawful distribution of a controlled dangerous substance, and maintaining a building where drugs are sold.

Special District Judge Matt Orendorff heard and granted the motion.

Orendorff said, “The attorney general’s office said they had a plea deal worked out. Basically they said they had no case against Tougas. They could not make that type of case.”

According to court records, the state filed the motion to dismiss Dec. 29 pursuant to a plea in another case, without cost.

Another case against Tougas, accusing him of failing to make, keep, or furnish any record required under the uniform control, was filed in district court Dec. 29. The record does not show Tougas has filed a plea to the charge. Orendorff said it was his understanding that Tougas was to enter a no contest plea to the charge.

Orendorff said the three other doctors in the case were to appear before Associate District Judge Kyle Waters, but Waters schedule was covered up and new dates were to be set. Court records did not list new court dates as of Wednesday.

Motions to dismiss were filed Dec. 29 in the cases against Myers, Howell and Friedl.

Friedl was charged with racketeering, and two counts of unlawful distribution of controlled dangerous substance. 

Howell and Myers were also charged with racketeering, first-degree murder, second-degree murder, two counts of unlawful distribution of a controlled dangerous substance, and maintaining a building where drugs are sold.

Court records do not show any new charges filed against the three men.



Sally Maxwell, Senior News Director

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