DOCTOR GETS 25 YEARS IN DRUG CASE
He's Also Convicted Of Racketeering They stood one by one, more than a dozen people, heaping praise on their beloved former family physician Dr.
They lauded the 60-year-old Jupiter doctor for being an old-fashioned practitioner who gave patients his home phone number and spent a lot of time with them during office visits.
Near the end of Deonarine's three-hour sentencing on 10 counts, including trafficking in oxycodone, racketeering and Medicaid fraud, the teary-eyed doctor addressed the court and begged Circuit Judge Richard Wennet for "mercy, leniency and empathy."
The Trinidad native said he dedicated his life to his patients, calling medicine "my love, my hobby, my life, my career."
"It cost me two divorces," the doctor said. "I worked 24 hours a day, seven days a week. I took my own calls."
Any possible mistakes, he said, were unintentional.
"Please, look at some of the good things I have done in my life."
But in the end, the judge had no choice but to give Deonarine 25 years in prison, the minimum mandatory sentence for trafficking more than 28 grams of the painkiller oxycodone. Deonarine was also ordered to pay $550,000 in fines.
Two vastly different views of Deonarine emerged on Friday. Prosecutor Barbara Burns said the doctor may have entered medicine with good intentions, but greed took over when he began focusing on pain management in mid-2000.
At his May trial, she blamed Deonarine for the 2001 overdose death of college student Michael Labzda, who went to Deonarine complaining of back and toe pain and was prescribed OxyContin without any tests. The jury acquitted Deonarine of murder and 74 other counts, but convicted him on 10.
Deonarine apologized to the Labzda family on Friday.