SALT LAKE CITY -- The end is in sight in the trial of a Brigham City doctor facing drug-dealing charges as the fourth week of testimony ended Friday afternoon in federal court.
The day's testimony was shortened as officials waited several hours for a doctor who had been called by Dewey MacKay's defense team. By shortly after noon, the court was informed the doctor was detained and unable to leave the operating room.
The defense's other witnesses were not scheduled until Monday, ending the jury's day and leaving the lawyers and Judge Dee Benson to predict next week's likely schedule.
MacKay, 64, is charged with 86 counts of felony drug distribution. The Brigham City doctor is accused of prescribing more than 1.9 million pills of hydrocodone and nearly 1.6 million pills of oxycodone between June 1, 2005, and Oct. 30, 2009, for no legitimate medical purpose.
From 2005 to February 2007, MacKay saw 100 to 120 patients every eight-hour workday, doing little but filling out prescriptions, according to a federal grand jury indictment handed down a year ago.
Barring another day like Friday, lead defense counsel Peter Stirba told Benson, the defense has four or five more witnesses to call and should likely conclude by Tuesday.
The remaining defense witnesses include Rep. Rob Bishop, R-Utah, and MacKay himself.
The U.S Attorney's Office has previously indicated it would be calling three or four rebuttal witnesses.
Benson surmised that defense response to prosecution rebuttal witnesses is typically minimal, so the rebuttal stage of the trial shouldn't run past Thursday.
Following a conference between himself and the lawyers to finalize jury instructions, as well as closing arguments, Benson theorized the case could go to the 13-member jury for its deliberations Friday.
The trial began July 18 and has featured a growing turnout of supporters for MacKay as the defense began its case this week after the prosecution rested.
On Friday, Box Elder County Commissioner LuAnn Adams joined MacKay's supporters.
The trial has featured dueling medical experts split on whether painkillers or pneumonia caused the death of one of MacKay's patients.
Some among the 12 listed victims in the case have testified to "doctor shopping" among as many as 30 other medical professionals besides MacKay to feed their addictions.