“I guess I’m having trouble understanding that with the defendant’s remarkable medical career, having founded an AIDS hospital … it doesn’t seem to have impaired her ability to function as a medical professional,” the judge said.
A doctor once lauded for her AIDS treatment work is blaming one of her dozen or so personalities for a prescription painkillers scheme that defrauded Medicaid out of hundreds of thousands of dollars.
Diana Williamson was supposed to be sentenced on Monday, but U.S. District Judge Loretta Preska delayed a final determination until prison authorities say whether they can treat a variety of illnesses her lawyer says would certainly lead to her death behind bars.
The government has recommended Williamson, 56, go to prison for 11 years or more, but defense lawyer Jonathan Marks says any prison time would be a death sentence because Williamson has several severe medical issues that can’t be treated in prison and require occasional emergency trips to a hospital.
Marks told the judge that his client deserved unusual leniency because she didn’t know she was carrying out crimes. He said the crimes were carried out by Nala, one of her multiple personalities. He said Nala was “mischievous, irresponsible, reckless and, as we have just discovered, criminal.”
The judge seemed skeptical of the multiple personality argument.