Virginia judge won’t bar defendant from online posts

Tuesday, February 5, 2013

ROANOKE, Va. — A federal judge in Roanoke has rejected prosecutors’ attempts to ban a doctor charged with illegally prescribing pain medication from discussing the case online.

Prosecutors asked U.S. District Judge Glen Conrad to ban Linda Sue Cheek from writing about her case on her website, Twitter and other social networking sites because they said it could influence potential jurors. They did so after she posted online that prosecutors were treating pain management doctors like drug lords.

The Roanoke Times reports Conrad refused their request on Monday, saying the court couldn’t strip her First Amendment rights simply because she’s a defendant.

Cheek is facing a 173-count indictment charging her with illegally prescribing drugs at a pain management practice she ran in Dublin.

Her trial is scheduled to begin Feb. 11.