Dewey MacKay must go to prison while his conviction is appealed.
The 10th Circuit Court of Appeals in Denver ruled Wednesday in denying the former Brigham City doctor's bid to remain free pending the appeal.
"We will be filing a motion in the next day or two asking U.S. District Judge Dee Benson to set a new date for (MacKay) to report to begin serving his federal prison sentence," Melodie Rydalch, spokeswoman for the U.S. Attorney for Utah's office, said in a news release.
MacKay was convicted in federal court in August following a five-week trial on 40 counts of illegally prescribing narcotic painkillers. Last month his state license to practice medicine was revoked.
The same jury acquitted him on 46 identical counts. Benson has sentenced the 64-year-old MacKay to 20 years in federal prison.
"We are unable to conclude that MacKay has presented a substantial question for appeal. Therefore, we need not determine whether he has established exceptional reasons why detention pending appeal would be inappropriate," reads the 10th Circuit decision denying the defense motion for release from custody pending appeal.
Two of the counts MacKay was convicted on were tied to the overdose death of David Wirick, an Ogden man who worked as a mechanical engineer at ATK Thiokol. The jury found MacKay at times was seeing 100 or more patients a day at his Brigham City office, filling prescriptions for no medical purpose.
The appeals court in Denver will now focus on MacKay's full appeal, which includes claims the evidence was insufficient overall to convict on the distribution counts involving Wirick's death and was insufficient as to the question of intent on the other charges.
The appeal also argues Benson made mistakes in allowing certain evidence into the trial, and that the 20-year prison term amounts to cruel and unusual punishment for the aging MacKay, who has multiple health problems.