Judge reverses order in prescription drug case

Published 9:09 pm Wednesday, May 23, 2012

The judge who ordered a local nurse practitioner into federal custody for a pretrial release violation has reversed the decision, allowing her to return home.

Earlier this week, U.S. Magistrate Judge David W. Daniel found that Amanda Bunch had not complied with the conditions of her release when she attempted to make contact with the wife of a co-defendant. Bunch and five others were arrested in April on charges of fraudulently obtaining prescription drugs.

Bunch spent two nights in confinement before a second hearing was held Wednesday to reconsider Daniel’s original finding.

In his motion for reconsideration, Bunch’s attorney, Joseph E. Zeszotarski Jr., wrote that keeping her in custody until trial was an especially harsh penalty considering Bunch had not tried to influence a potential witness. He noted she was acting on the advice of other lawyers who told her to gather documents to support her case. Bunch’s attempt to reach a co-defendant’s wife was to get medical history prior to when Bunch saw him as a patient.

Daniel ordered Bunch released from federal custody Wednesday afternoon. Her trial is slated for October.