BROOKSVILLE — Lynn Hutchinson, a former owner of a Spring Hill pain management clinic that was the target of an 18-month investigation by the Hernando County Sheriff's Office, will avoid prison, but will spend 10 years on probation and perform community service as the result of a deal that takes into account her failing health.
After pleading no contest last year to a dozen charges, including multiple counts of practicing medicine without a license, Hutchinson was due to be sentenced last May. But her attorney, Jimmy Brown of Brooksville, said that a series of health setbacks and subsequent hospitalizations caused the matter to be postponed several times.
Circuit Judge Stephen Toner sentenced her on Wednesday and told her she may not operate or participate in the operation of a medical clinic during her probationary term.
Before the deal, Hutchinson, 48, faced a one-year minimum mandatory prison sentence for her role in the operation of Hope Pain Management Group on Mariner Boulevard. The clinic was shut down after undercover detectives arrested her and Dr. Harold Sleight in November 2011. Undercover detectives and informants said that Hutchinson took part in many medical procedures at the clinic. She ordered MRIs, gave exams and issued prescriptions for pain medicine even though she had no license to practice as a physician.
Sleight, who lives in Charlotte County, was charged with multiple crimes as well, including four counts of possessing a drug without a prescription, two counts of possessing a controlled substance and one count of trafficking in a controlled substance. After pleading guilty last year, he was ordered to serve 15 years of drug offender probation and pay a $100,000 fine. He also was ordered to give up his medical license.
Brown praised Hernando State Attorney Brad King for agreeing to a sentencing option for Hutchinson that would help his client "tend to her health needs as best she can."
Logan Neill can be reached at email@example.com or (352) 848-1435.