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Co-owner of Spring Hill pain management clinic faces added charges

Lynn Renee Hutchinson is taken into custody last month after her arrest at the Hope Pain Management Group, 1250 Mariner Blvd. in Spring Hill.

WILL VRAGOVIC | Times

Lynn Renee Hutchinson is taken into custody last month after her arrest at the Hope Pain Management Group, 1250 Mariner Blvd. in Spring Hill.

BROOKSVILLE — A woman who was charged last month with practicing medicine without a license and issuing pain medication prescriptions at a Spring Hill pain management clinic is facing new charges stemming from an ongoing investigation by the Hernando County Sheriff's Office.

Lynn Renee Hutchinson, 46, a co-owner of what previously was known as Hope Pain Management Group at 1250 Mariner Blvd. in Spring Hill, turned herself in Wednesday to Sumter County authorities after a warrant for her arrest was issued Tuesday in Hernando County.

According to Hernando Sheriff's Office spokeswoman Cpl. Wendy McGinnis, Hutchinson faces two counts of unlawful practice of health care without a license and one count of fraudulent representation of a practitioner to help a person obtain a controlled substance. The charges stem from July 2010, while Hutchinson operated the clinic.

On Nov. 1, Hutchinson was arrested after an 18-month investigation by the sheriff's vice and narcotics unit, during which authorities discovered that she had sent patients for MRIs, given exams and issued prescriptions for pain medicine. The clinic's listed medical director, Dr. Harold Sleight, 70, was also arrested and charged with three counts each of principal to unlawful practice of medicine and principal to unlicensed practice of a health care physician.

State records indicate that Hutchinson has no medical degree or license to practice medicine in Florida or anywhere else. Three years ago, she was charged with concealing information from a practitioner to obtain a prescription.

During a raid at the office in November, investigators confiscated records from the business, which led to the additional charges being filed against Hutchinson.

The clinic operated for at least the last two years. It was closed following the earlier arrests, but according to authorities has since reopened with a new medical director and is now calling itself a "wellness center."

Hernando authorities linked the Hope Pain Management Clinic to a double homicide earlier this month involving Craig Aaron Lede, 40, who was charged with the brutal murders of John W. Ketsemidis, 29, and Dana D. Nelson, 28.

Authorities said Lede beat his victims to death with a baseball bat. Lede, Nelson and Ketsemidis were all patients of Hope Pain Management.

Meanwhile, the investigation into Hope Pain Management Clinic will continue, authorities said, and more charges are likely.

Hutchinson was released Wednesday from the Sumter County Detention Center after posting $15,000 bail.

Logan Neill can be reached at (352) 848-1435 or lneill@sptimes.com.

Co-owner of Spring Hill pain management clinic faces added charges 12/08/11 [Last modified: Thursday, December 8, 2011 7:30pm]

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