Dr. Randeep Mann
Dr. Trent Pierce
Dr. Trent Pierce began testifying Wednesday in the trial of Mann, who's charged in the 2009 bombing that nearly killed Pierce.
In his testimony, Pierce discussed his time with the state medical board, which he joined in 1997. He talked about the board in general and some of the responsibilities to which they administer. Pierce talked about the role of the chairman of the board.
He says the chairman is the "face and voice of the board... sort of plays the good parent, bad parent role."
Pierce testified that he scolded Mann when the doctor first came before the medical board in October 2003, charged with overprescribing medications, inadequate record keeping, and inappropriately prescribing methadone when not being a licensed to do so. He says he told Mann that he expected him to be back before the board if he didn't change his practices.
However, the outcome of the first hearing resulted in Mann surrendering his DEA permit for one year. The charge of overprescribing medication was tossed out due to a change in witness testimony in the first hearing.
Pierce says from that point forward, "I believe and still believe that overprescribed medications contributed to and led to the death of many from overdose." He adds, "I was frustrated with Dr. Mann," because he said Dr. Mann had no recognition, no insight, no acceptance of actions.
Prosecutors claim that Mann planned the attack at Pierce's home in retaliation.
Pierce then talked about Mann's 2nd hearing before the medical board for the same instances. Mann filed two motions to recuse Dr. Ray Juett, the chairman at that time, and Dr. Pierce - neither did so. Pierce says Mann's initial proposal for dismissal was denied and after much mediation, the 2nd proposal was accepted.
In this proposal, Mann admitted he had overprescribed prescriptions and agreed to surrender his DEA permit permanently; in addition, Mann would reimburse the cost of the investigation; he would no longer provide pain management and could not hire a new doctor to prescribe medication.
Pierce says that Dr. Mann requested permission for his DEA permit to be reinstated in August, 2007. Pirece recalls, "I was not the kindest to Dr. Mann when he appeared... I essentially told him it was inappropriate to reappear before the board in just a year's time."
Mann again addressed the board in a letter dated Dec. 19, 2007 requested his DEA permit once more. Mann sent in another request in November 2008 which was addressed in the board's December meeting. The board denied Mann's request but said Mann could appear before the board at the June 2009 meeting to plead his case - at which point he would have been without his DEA permit for 3 years.
Pierce then proceeded to talk about the about the day of the bombing. Pierce says he began the day as he would any Wednesday morning on February 4, 2009.
The last thing Pierce says he vividly remembers was saying good bye to his wife, as they shared a joke about what he was wearing to work that day. He did not remember walking to his car, moving the tire that held the bomb or hearing the explosion. However, Pierce says he has a vague recollection of falling backwards.
The next memory comes several weeks later -- when he woke up at a med center in Memphis. Pierce recalls the effects of the explosion and the healing process; it destroyed his left eye and reduced his vision in his right eye. It knocked out most of his teeth leading to extensive repair.
It damaged his face, fractured his right arm and knee and severely burned him. Shrapnel lodged in his abdomen, causing part of his small intestine to be removed. He still feels numbness in his hands. His sense of smell is gone and he has problem hearing in both ears. Those are just the physical injuries.
Pierce says it took him months to understand how he even survived. "I'm here because of God's grace and goodness. That goodness and love was transferred to emergency personnel and other hospital staff that worked on me ... I should be dead."
On Wednesday, inmate Stephen Briscoe also testified that he turned down Mann's offer for $50,000 to kill Pierce after the bomb didn't work. He told Mann he didn't know anyone else willing to commit murder.
Briscoe admits the first time he ever spoke with Mann was on August 22, 2009 while they were both inmates at PUCO Jail. The debate Wednesday morning, focused on when and whereMann and Briscoe discussed this supposed plan - in the recreational yard or over a game of cards.
In a letter from August 2009 to the state medical board, Briscoe warned that Pierce was "in danger." And in a letter dated Nov. 15, 2009 to prosecutors, Briscoe said "I'm scared because I don't want whoever [Dan] is to place a bomb under my mom's car like he did Dr. Pierce."
The court adjourned around 5 p.m. After testimony concluded for the day, U.S. District Judge Brian Miller said he would force a new start to the four-week trial if the Bureau of Alcohol Tobacco and Firearms does not comply with subpoenas issued by the defense.
Erin Cassinelli Couch, a lawyer for Dr. Randeep Mann, told the judge that the ATF had supplied redacted versions of some documents and complained that the agency kept changing its procedures.
Assistant U.S. Attorney Michael Gordon said he'd been encouraging the ATF to provide the information.
The trial will convene Friday at 10 a.m.
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