Kansas doctor pleads guilty to painkiller charges

WICHITA | A Kansas doctor has pleaded guilty in federal court to writing prescriptions for a woman he never met.

Lawrence Simons, of Goddard, pleaded guilty Monday to two counts of prescribing the powerful opiate Fentanyl despite lacking a patient relationship with the woman.

Sentencing is set for Dec. 14. Simons faces up to 20 years in prison, although he is likely to get much less under federal sentencing guidelines.

A co-defendant, Wichita pharmacist Constance King, will be sentenced Oct. 19.

Simons worked at a clinic operated by physician Stephen Schneider in Haysville. Schneider is awaiting trial on charges of unlawfully prescribing drugs linked to 59 patient deaths.