Doctor's sentencing delayed

WICHITA _ The sentencing for a doctor who pleaded guilty to illegally prescribing a painkiller for a woman he never met has been postponed until January.

Lawrence Simons was scheduled to be sentenced today by U.S. District Judge Monti Belot. Simons pleaded guilty to the charge in October.

He is now set to be sentenced at 11:15 a.m. Jan. 11.

Federal guidelines call for a sentence of 18 to 24 months, but Belot has said a prison term greater than that is essential. The doctor faces up to 20 years and a $1 million fine.

Simons worked at a clinic run by physician Stephen Schneider, who is charged in a separate case with unlawfully prescribing drugs, leading to 59 patient deaths.

Contributing: Associated Press