Dr. Celia Lloyd-Turney pleads guilty in drug case, will surrender medical license

Huntsville
Data pix.

HUNTSVILLE, Ala. - Dr. Celia Lloyd-Turney pleaded guilty in federal court Friday morning, as jurors deliberated over her charges of over-prescribing opioids to her patients.

As part of the plea agreement, Lloyd-Turney pleaded guilty to one count of unlawful drug distribution and agreed to surrender her medical license. She also agreed to never participate in a health care program, according to the agreement filed Friday in federal court.

As part of the plea agreement, prosecutors agreed to recommend a sentence of five years probation and two years of home confinement. She could be sentenced to a maximum of 20 years and be fined up to $1,000,000.

Jurors got the case Thursday morning. They resumed deliberations Friday morning at 8:30 a.m., but sometime during the morning, Lloyd-Turney agreed to plead guilty. The judge called everyone into the courtroom and dismissed jurors shortly after 11 a.m.

Lloyd-Turney has sentencing set for June 8.

Lloyd-Turney was accused of over-prescribing addictive drugs such as oxycodone and Valium; prosecutors said she was giving some patients as many as 15 pills a day. Federal agents raided her practice at Choice Medicine in Toney in February 2019.

Prosecutors said in closing arguments that Lloyd-Turney enabled addicted patients. Her lawyers acknowledged during the trial she violated federal drug statutes multiple times but said she thought she was acting in her patients' best interest.

In February 2017 the Alabama Board of Medical Examiners restricted her license and issued limitations on how she could possess and prescribe controlled substances. The punishment was part of a compromise in which she admitted excessively providing controlled substances to 10 patients.